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The Effect of Ability on Young Men's Self-Employment Decision: Evidence from the NELS


  • We thank the three anonymous referees for providing constructive comments and help in significantly improving the contents of this paper. We take full responsibility for any errors.


Using the National Educational Longitudinal Study data, we examine the role of pre-market abilities on young men's self-employment decision. Our results indicate that cognitive and non-cognitive abilities are two important, in opposing directions, predictors of self-employment. We also find that cognitive and non-cognitive abilities may differ in their malleability with the latter being more malleable during adolescence.