Knowledge Note

Standard skills indicators leave an information gap on workforce skill characteristics, job skill requirements, and quality of worker-job matches that prevents policymakers from making informed and timely decisions on training and education for current and future employees. Thus, there is growing interest on measures of cognitive, socio-emotional (non-cognitive), and technical skills to analyze determinants of skills formation, economic decisions and labor market outcomes. Recent work from Kenya in 2017 highlighted some of the challenges of collecting reliable and valid data for a set of commonly used skills measures.

The study evaluates how well the Big 5 (B5) personality traits, commonly used to proxy for non-cognitive (or more properly socio-emotional) skills are measured in the Skills Towards Employability and Productivity (STEP) surveys using self-reported questionnaires so far applied in fifteen developing countries.

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