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Abstract:

cover
CEP Discussion Paper
Child Development and Success or Failure in the Youth Labour Market
Paul Gregg and Stephen Machin
July 1998
Paper No' CEPDP0397:
Full Paper (pdf)

In this paper we examine the relationship between childhood factors and subsequent economic and social success or failure as an adult. Unlike many studies which typically have little data on pre-labour market factors (other than schooling or in fewer cases, test scores) we are able to draw upon a whole host of childhood variables from the National Child Development Study, a survey of all people born in a week of March 1958. The results show a strong negative relationship between measures of childhood disadvantage (child-specific and family-based) and economic and social success at ages 16, 23 and 33. An important part (but not all) of this is accounted for by the massively worse educational attainment of those we characterise as experiencing childhood disadvantage. Finally, we uncover an important cross-generational effect as the indicators of childhood disadvantage we consider are negatively and significantly correlated with the cognitive achievement (as measured by test scores) of the children of NCDS cohort members in 1991.