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Review of Economic Perspectives

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Volume 14, Issue 1 (Mar 2014)


Soft Skills and Their Wage Returns: Overview of Empirical Literature

Jiří Balcar
  • Corresponding author
  • VSB - Technical University of Ostrava, Economic faculty, Sokolská třída 33, 701 21 Ostrava
  • Email:
Published Online: 2014-04-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/revecp-2014-0001


Psychological traits, attitudes and soft skills represent factors whose effect on an individual’s wages has begun to be examined recently. Today, there is an extensive empirical body on wage returns to the first two factors, but still a relatively small one on wage returns to soft skills, such as communication, cooperation, leadership etc. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of empirical literature on wage returns to soft skills. It suggests that soft skills are connected with significant wage returns and contribute to closing the gender wage gap. The end of the paper focuses on a discussion on methodological approaches to measurement of soft skills and relevancy of their approximation by job characteristics (incl. suggestion of using tools of competency modelling for this purpose).

Keywords: Soft skills; wage returns; wage gap; skills-job match


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About the article

Published Online: 2014-04-12

Published in Print: 2014-03-01

Citation Information: Review of Economic Perspectives, ISSN (Online) 1804-1663, ISSN (Print) 1213-2446, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/revecp-2014-0001. Export Citation

© by Jiří Balcar. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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