School of Economics

2002 Discussion Papers

School of Economics Discussion Paper 02/03
May 2002

The Growth and Valuation of Generic Skills
Andy Dickerson and Francis Green

School of Economics
University of Kent at Canterbury

Abstract

Using a method for measuring job skills derived from survey data on detailed work activities, we show that between 1997 and 2001 there was a growth in Britain in the utilisation of computing skills, literacy, numeracy, technical know-how, high-level communication skills, planning skills, client communication skills, horizontal communication skills, problem-solving and checking skills. Computer skills and high-level communication skills carry positive wage premia, as shown both in cross-section hedonic wage equations and through a within-sohorts change analysis. No part of the gender pay gap can be accounted for by differences in levels of generic skills between men and women.

JEL Classification: J31

Keywords: skills, wages, computers

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