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This paper examines the role of holding a leadership position in high school on adult earnings and assesses the sensitivity of the previously found positive association to nonrandom selection bias. Using a recently developed procedure, the authors show that a substantial part of this relation is causal. Moreover, the results indicate evidence in favor of the hypothesis that leadership skills are acquired during high school. Researchers have traditionally focused on cognitive skills, measured by knowledge and aptitude tests, as the primary example of productive skills.
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