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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

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Volume 18, Issue 4


Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Modeling Completion of Vocational Education: The Role of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills by Program Type

Leslie S. Stratton
  • Corresponding author
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Economics, 301 W. Main Street, Box 844000, Richmond, VA 23284-4000, USA; IZA, Germany; LCC, Australia
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/ Nabanita Datta GuptaORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7904-445X / David Reimer / Anders Holm
  • Department of Sociology, The University of Western Ontario, Room 5327, Social Science Center, London, Ontario N6A 5C2, Canada
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Published Online: 2018-09-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2017-0173


This study provides evidence of the importance of cognitive and noncognitive skills to completion of three types of vocational training (VET): education and health, technical, and business. Math and language exam scores constitute the key measures of cognitive skills; teacher-assigned grades the key measure of noncognitive skills. The data consist of two 9-year panels of youth completing compulsory education in Denmark. Estimation of completion proceeds separately by gender and VET type, controlling for selection and right censoring. The authors find that all skills are inversely related to VET enrollment, even controlling for family-specific effects. Estimates for completion vary considerably by program type, demonstrating the methodological importance of distinguishing among different VET courses. Math scores are positively related to certification for all VET tracks, though with very different magnitudes; language skills are inversely related for the nonbusiness tracks; and noncognitive skills appear important primarily for the business track.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: vocational education; enrollment; completion; vocational certification; ability

JEL Classification: I21


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Published Online: 2018-09-26

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 18, Issue 4, 20170173, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2017-0173.

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