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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Non-cognitive skills, defined as individual differences that are independent of cognitive ability, are used within economics and policy to understand and improve labor market outcomes and reduce anti-social behavior. These measures are now being used in sub-Saharan Africa to capture “softer” outcomes of interventions with young people in particular. Having first defined non-cognitive skills and described how they are measured, this chapter then presents critiques relating to their relative insensitivity to culture and class. This argument as to the context specificity of non-cognitive skills is supported with qualitative and quantitative data generated with young entrepreneurs from Uganda and South Africa.

Keywords: non-cognitive skills, personality, entrepreneurs, youth, Africa

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