At the nexus of learning and innovation
May 22, 2:00 pm

Associate Professor Stefanie Schurer presents University education and noncognitive skill development


Join us on May 22nd when Associate Professor Stefanie Schurer will discuss the recently published paper, University education and noncognitive skill development (Kassenboehmer, S., Leung, F. Schurer, S. in Oxford Economic Papers -

The paper examines the effect of university education on students’ non-cognitive skills (NCS) using high-quality Australian longitudinal data. To isolate the skill-building effects of tertiary education, we follow the education decisions and NCS—proxied by the Big Five personality traits—of 575 adolescents over eight years. Estimating a standard skill production function, we demonstrate a robust positive relationship between university education and extraversion, and agreeableness for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The effects are likely to operate through exposure to university life rather than through degree-specific curricula or university-specific teaching quality. As extraversion and agreeableness are associated with socially beneficial behaviours, we propose that university education may have important non-market returns.

Profile picture of Associate Professor Stefanie Schurer Stefanie is an Associate Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Sydney. Her research interest is the Economics of Human Development. Most of her current projects explore the evolution of skills, preferences, and health over the lifecourse and the role that parents, public policy, and the medical care sector play in determining these skills. She is involved in several linked administrative data projects in Australia financed through the National Health and Medical Research Council, evaluating, among others, the impact of early-life medical care, (poor) parenting or parenting interventions, and welfare reforms on children's skill development. She is University of Sydney SOAR Fellow and an ARC Discovery Early Career Fellow.

  • Room 612, Education Building A35
  • Tuesday 22 May 2018 from 2.00-3.30pm (join us from 1.45 for a coffee)
  • No registration needed, just come on the day
  • This seminar will be recorded