Leibniz Network "Non-Cognitive Skills: Acquisition and Economic Consequences"

Department(s)/ Research Infrastructure
German Socio- Economic Panel study Education and Family
Project Status
Completed Project
Project Duration
since/from 2008 to 2010
Commissioned by
Centre for European Economic Research - ZEW Mannheim
Funded by
Leibniz Gemeinschaft (SAW)
In Cooperation with
Centre for European Economic Research - ZEW Mannheim (Coordination)
Economic Research Center (ERC), University of Chicago
Centre for the Economics of Education at the London School of Economics
Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich
Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim University of Konstanz
Project Team/Contacts at DIW Berlin

This research initiative is supported by the Leibniz Association within the "Pakt für Forschung und Innovation". The network consists of a co-operation of economic and psychological expertise of leading European research institutions (Centre for the Economics of Education at the London School of Economics; German Socio-Economic Panel Study at the German Institute for Economic Research, Berlin; Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim; Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim; and the University of Konstanz), the research group of James Heckman at the Economic Research Center Chicago and the Baden-Württemberg employer association Südwestmetall including its educational institutions. We use methods related to several disciplines from the social sciences: the economics of education; labor economics; motivational psychology; motivational neurosciences and econometrics in order to enhance our understanding of human capital formation in the modern, science-based, economy. In particular we focus on non-cognitive skills such as motivation, persistence, self-efficacy and self-regulation. Optimal investment in these skills have not been sufficiently explored by economists and economic investment aspects are often not taken into account in psychological research approaches. All institutions of the Leibniz Network are working with theoretically sound empirical models and methods (representative panels, representative experiments and laboratory experiments, econometrics, simulations). The gained insights will be discussed in four network-conferences. The first conference, with 90 participants, took place at ZEW in Mannheim, May 15 - May 17, 2008. The second conference took place at Kloster Hegne, University of Konstanz, March 19- March 21, 2009. The second conference was organized together with the research group on intentions and intentionality (Anja Achtziger, Peter Gollwitzer) at the University of Konstanz. The third conference takes place at DIW Berlin, October 22- October 24, 2009 and is organized together with the SOEP group (Jürgen Schupp, C. Katharina Spieß). In a new cooperation with the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (Ernst Fehr, University of Zurich) and the SOEP group we investigate determinants of impatience by children and their mothers. The discussions will shed light on the priorities of education policy. The network is open to further research partners. Particularly, we aim at integrating and supporting young researchers, especially Ph.D. students.

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