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Because of this relationship educational qualifications are often used as a proxy for “human capital”.
However, from a theoretical perspective, there are many reasons why this relationship is not perfect, and to some degree this is due to third variables.
Therefore, when trying to compare the relationship between formal education and competencies across countries, it is important to adjust for these factors: otherwise, cross-country differences could come about through mere differences in the composition of countries according to e.g.
Therefore, before jumping to conclusions about differences in the quality and academic selectivity of education across countries, it is important to describe ‘net’ skill differences by disaggregated, cross-nationally more comparable educational attainment categories than has so far been done.
With our analyses we want to broaden the scope of the analyses presented by the OECD in 2013 based on data from the Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) (OECD educational attainment relates to literacy skills across different countries.
Secondly, we explore how far cross-country differences in skills by detailed educational attainment remain or change when adjusting for a wide range of micro-level variables likely to influence educational attainment and/or adult competencies.
Educational qualifications and literacy skills are highly related.
This is not surprising as it is one aim of educational systems to equip individuals with competencies necessary to take part in society.
In fact, large-scale assessments are largely motivated by the desire to more directly measure adult competencies than using educational attainment as a proxy.