Understanding Adult Literacy Skills over Time: A Cohort and Period Perspective

Claudia Reiter , Institute for Advanced Studies
Anne Goujon, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Dilek Yildiz, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Understanding how skills evolve over time and what drives their evolution is essential for assessing the state of human capital. Using the 1994-1998 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), the 2003-2008 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL), and the 2012-2014 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), we build synthetic cohorts to examine how different populations gain, lose, or preserve literacy skills both over the lifespan and over time. By comparing cross-sectional assessment data from different points in time, we can analyze whether potential enhancement or deterioration of skills in a society occurs during the lifetime of an individual or rather over several generations, and whether there are significant differences between countries, by gender and educational attainment.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy