Rapports thématiques de PIAAC, documents de travail et autres publications

Autres publications et documents de travail

 Cover page of Gender, Education and Skills

Gender, Education and Skills: The Persistence of Gender Gaps in Education and Skills

The 2023 Gender, Education and Skills Report on the persistence of gender gaps in education and skills presents fresh insights on progress towards gender equality in education. The report tries to understand why teen boys are more likely than girls, on average, to fail to attain a baseline level of proficiency in reading, mathematics and science, and why high-performing girls do not continue investing in developing skills in areas such as mathematics and science, when compared to high-performing boys. The report also describes that, despite overall gender gaps in mathematics and science being quite small, young women continue to be under-represented in STEM-related fields after leaving school. These career choices are also reflected in gender disparities in the labour market: tertiary-educated women earn 76% of the earnings of their male peers. This could be possible because men are more likely than women to pursue studies in fields associated with higher earnings, such as engineering, manufacturing and construction, and ICTs, while women still choose fields associated with lower earnings, including education, welfare, and arts and humanities.

» OECD Library


 Cover of the publication 'Skills in Latin America: Insights from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)'

Skills in Latin America: Insights from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)

Human capital is a key determinant of success for individuals and economies alike. Literacy and numeracy are key foundations for higher-order cognitive skills, while solving problems in technology-rich environments is increasingly important, as information and communications technology (ICT) spreads into all aspects of life. Despite remarkable recent increases in enrolment and educational attainment, the countries of Latin America lag behind in skills development among both secondary school students and the wider adult population. Young adults are still struggling in the labour market, while employers report skill shortages are a barrier to business. As countries in the region seek to shift their economies into higher value-added activities to escape the “middle-income trap”, they will need to improve the skills of their working-age population across the board. This report explores the situation of youth and adults in Latin America by using data from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) from Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay. These data have been supplemented by results from the World Bank STEP survey of adults living in urban areas of Bolivia and Colombia.

 » OECD iLibrary

 Cover of GESIS WKP: PIAAC Bibliography 2008-2022

PIAAC Bibliography - 2008-2022 (GESIS Papers, 2023/04)

The present bibliography provides an overview of literature and data publications relating to the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Initiated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), PIAAC assesses key cognitive skills (e.g., literacy and numeracy) and workplace skills of the adult population in over 40 countries.

The PIAAC Bibliography is a compilation of scientific publications relating to PIAAC. It includes (a) publications regarding the conceptual framework of the skill domains assessed in PIAAC; (b) publications of research results based on PIAAC data; (c) publications relating to the technical conception of the main study and/or follow-up studies; and (c) published PIAAC data files.

Since the first data release in 2013 the number of publications has constantly increased. The PIAAC Bibliography 2023 comprises 986 publications and 77 data sets (and 15 technical documents).



Improving the collection of information on literacy proficiency in household surveys (Education Working Papers, No. 240)

In the vast majority of the world’s countries, information on the literacy proficiency of the adult population is collected through census collections, labour force surveys or through omnibus household surveys. These commonly use simple measures: respondents’ reports of their own or other household members’ capacity to read and write or the capacity of the respondent to accurately read aloud a short sentence. 

While there is a justified interest in the use of assessments to collect information regarding literacy proficiency, household surveys using simple measures will continue to be a primary source of data on literacy in many countries for some time. Improvement of the quality of simple measures should, therefore, be a priority. Three main avenues for improvement are identified: greater clarity regarding the concepts being measured, the development of improved simple direct assessments of literacy proficiency and encouragement for the use of a common set of instruments and questions.

 » OECD iLibrary


WKP 230 - cover page

Assessing adults’ skills on a global scale : A joint analysis of results from PIAAC and STEP (Education Working Papers, No. 230)

This paper illustrates similarities and differences between two international surveys that assess adults’ skills: the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and the Skills Towards Employment and Productivity (STEP) survey. In particular, the paper highlights the issues that can arise for researchers interested to jointly analyse the data from the two surveys and to compare their results. The paper finds that, in spite of the many similarities, important differences exist between PIAAC and STEP, both in the way the data are collected, and in the way the proficiency of respondents is estimated. These issues can indeed affect the cross-country comparability of results from the two surveys. There is instead little evidence that the literacy assessment used in the two surveys is not adequate to form a basis for a valid assessment of adults’ proficiency on a global scale.

» OECD iLibrary



PIAAC Thematic Review on Adult Learning (Education Working Papers, No. 223)

This report focuses on the adult learning data that was collected as part of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills between 2012 and 2016, which has been a core activity of the ongoing OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The objectives are to: present the data on adult learning made available by PIAAC; provide an international and comparative overview of the extent of adult learning of different types along with trends, where possible, for countries and economies that have so far participated in PIAAC; reveal international and comparative patterns on the distribution of adult learning within participating countries and economies, focusing on who is and who is not participating in terms of the types of jobs they work in as well as their socio-demographic profile; assess empirically the relationship between some types of adult learning and economic as well as social outcomes; discuss systemic features of adult learning systems and their relationship with selected economic and social policy instruments; and to draw out implications of the results in relation to the continued measurement of adult learning.

» OECD iLibrary



Beyond Proficiency - Using Log files to understand respondent behaviour in the Survey of Adult Skills

Computer-based administration of large-scale assessments makes it possible to collect a rich set of information on test takers, through analysis of the log files recording interactions between the computer interface and the server. This report examines timing and engagement indicators from the Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), both of which indicate large differences across countries and socio-demographic groups, in the amount of time spent by respondents and their levels of disengagement, which reduce the probability of giving a correct answer and consequently reduces measured performance. Such insights can help policy makers, researchers and educators to better understand respondents’ cognitive strategies and the underlying causes of low and high performance. This, in turn, can help improve the design of assessments and lead to more effective training and learning programmes.

Les compétences des adultes à la loupe n°10:
Temps consacré par les adultes à l’évaluation PIAAC et importance de cette donnée
How much time do adults spend on the PIAAC assessment and why does it matter?

» Lire le blog: "How computer-based tests are enriching education research

» OECD ilibrary



Review of the PIAAC Numeracy Assessment Framework: Final Report (by ACER)

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an international assessment of the proficiency of adults (aged 16-65 years) in key information processing skills (reading, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments). The Survey of Adult Skills has revealed that a considerable number of adults in OECD countries possess only limited literacy and numeracy skills. The OECD is currently reviewing the content of the frameworks and cognitive assessment instruments for the 2nd cycle of PIAAC ready for delivery in 2021-22.

This report is the result of a review of the numeracy construct and assessment in PIAAC. It recommends a range of areas for potential improvements and enhancements, including of the definition and elaborations of adult numeracy used in the framework, and the assessment content. Many of the suggestions arise out of the concern that the existing framework and assessment do not reflect some of the realities of the skills and knowledge adults now need to succeed in work, life and citizenship in the 21st century.

The report also recommends the development of a PIAAC numeracy components assessment, which would have parallel aims to the existing reading components assessment, and provide insights into the skills and knowledge of the significant number of adults with low levels of numeracy.



Compétences en littératie et configurations familiales (Documents de travail de l'OCDE sur l'éducation No. 192) 

Nous étudions les liens entre la morphologie et la formation de la famille d’une part et les compétences en littératie des adultes d’autre part en analysant les données du Programme pour l'évaluation internationale des compétences des adultes (PIAAC) portant sur 250 000 personnes âgées de 16 à 65 ans et mené par l’OCDE dans 33 pays et régions. La maîtrise des compétences en littératie a un effet sur de nombreux aspects touchant à la dynamique des configurations familiales, comme l’âge au premier enfant ou l’âge de mise en couple, même après la prise en compte du niveau d’études et de l’âge. Par ailleurs, le fait d’avoir des enfants et de vivre en couple a des conséquences sur les opportunités professionnelles et la participation au marché du travail des adultes, qui peuvent être particulièrement négatives pour les femmes les plus compétentes en littératie.

Les compétences des adultes à la loupe n°9: 
Devenir parent à l’adolescence : Quels liens avec le niveau de compétence en littératie ?
Teenage parenthood: how does it relate to proficiency in literacy?

» Lire le blog: "What is the relationship between literacy and single-parent families?" par Nicolas Jonas

» OECD iLibrary



Interviewers, Test-taking Conditions and the Quality of the PIAAC Assessment (Education Working Papers, No. 191)

This paper explores the impact of test-taking conditions on the quality of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) assessment. Interviewers record information about the room of assessment and interruptions that occurred during each interview. These observations, along with information on interviewer assignment size and a careful look at interviewer effects, provide insights into the quality of the assessment. This working paper first describes the variations in test-taking conditions among participating countries. Second, it examines interviewer assignment sizes and the frequency of interruptions, finding that both vary markedly among countries (contrary to the room of assessment). The paper then looks at the relationship between these variations and response rates and engagement measures. While neither the room of assessment nor the recorded interruptions impact quality differences among countries, interviewer assignment size and interviewer effects may have a mild impact on results.

 » OECD iLibrary


 US Prison Study based on PIAAC data

Highlights from the U.S. PIAAC Survey of Incarcerated Adults: Their Skills, Work Experience, Education, and Training

On February 22nd, the American Institutes for Research hosted a presentation and discussion on a recently released report using data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). This report provided information on skills and competencies of the incarcerated adults, comparing to that of adults in U.S. households. The report also reported on the extent of inmates’ participation in formal education, empowerment classes (such as parenting or personal finance management), and job training programs.

 Skills on the Move - Cover in ENG

Skills on the Move: Migrants in the Survey of Adult Skills 

Migration has been at the centre of political debate across the OECD in recent years. This report provides new evidence based on PIAAC data on differences in migrants’ characteristics and considers how these relate to the skills migrants possess. It also examines the relationship between migrants’ skills and their labour and non-labour market outcomes in host countries. Finally, it sheds new light on how migrants’ skills are developed, used and valued in host country labour markets and societies.

 » OECD ilibrary



Small Area Estimation Research (by Westat)

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) sample is designed to produce internationally comparable and nationally representative direct estimates (based solely on survey data) with adequate levels of precision for the nations as a whole and for major population subgroups. However, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and several of the participating countries in Cycle 1 of PIAAC, have expressed interest in using PIAAC data to create proficiency estimates for local areas where PIAAC sample size is too small (or equal to zero) to produce any direct estimates. Small area estimation (SAE) methods facilitate the estimation of the proficiency distribution in subpopulations not initially targeted in large scale surveys. This paper summarizes the research results from applying SAE methods using PIAAC data from five countries that participated in Cycle 1, with various core national sample designs.



Les pratiques et les compétences des adultes en numératie (Documents de travail de l'OCDE sur l'éducation No. 177)

Nous étudions les liens entre les compétences et les pratiques des adultes en numératie dans leur vie de tous les jours et au travail en analysant les données de l’enquête internationale sur les adultes, un produit du Programme pour l’évaluation internationale des compétences des adultes (PIAAC), portant sur 250 000 adultes âgés de 16 à 65 ans et menée par l’OCDE dans 33 pays et régions. La maîtrise des compétences et l'intensité d'engagement dans les pratiques sont deux aspects liés de la numératie. Les adultes compétents en numératie y ont recours plus fréquemment, et ceux qui pratiquent régulièrement la numératie améliorent leurs performances. Plusieurs facteurs jouent sur la force de ces liens, mais différemment selon les pays. L'intensité de pratique au quotidien diminue avec l'éloignement des études. Par ailleurs, les actifs occupés pratiquent moins la numératie dans le cadre privé s'ils n’y ont pas intensivement recours dans leur travail.

Les compétences des adultes à la loupe n°8: 
Les compétences et les pratiques en numératie des étudiants
Students’ numeracy skills and practices

» Lire le blog:"Being good at maths could be good for your health" par Nicolas Jonas.

» OECD iLibrary


 Teachers in Ibero-America

Teachers in Ibero-America - Insights from PISA and TALIS

This report uses the most recent OECD data, primarily from the PISA 2015 and TALIS 2013 cycles, and seeks to evaluate the Ibero-American teaching profession in support of policy makers across the region. It provides contextual evidence about the environment in which Ibero-American teachers work and develop, underlining the need for concerted support for teachers in the region. It provides a general overview of the teaching workforce in the Ibero-American countries, analysing the key characteristics of the region’s teachers and the extent of teacher sorting across schools and its relationship to equity in education.

Version en anglais | Version en espagnol

 Skills for Ibero-America: Insights from PISA 2015 (cover)

Skills in Ibero-America: Insights from PISA 2015 provides an overview of the main skills challenges facing Ibero-American countries and explores the following important and relevant questions for the skills and education systems in the region: What specific skills challenges are Ibero-American countries facing today? What are the similarities and differences in educational performance and skills amongst the countries? What accounts for differences in performance between Latin American countries compared to Spain and Portugal and how can this gap be closed? What are the main drivers of student performance? How do these skills challenges impact labour market outcomes?


Version en anglais | Version en espagnol




Skills for the 21st century: findings and policy lessons from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (Education Working Papers, No. 166)

The OECD Survey of Adult Skills is the jewel in the crown of its Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). This paper argues that the findings and policy lessons from the project to date justify the high hopes which were placed in PIAAC when detailed planning for the project began in 2003. First, it presents a brief recap of PIAAC and its two predecessor international skills surveys. Second, it outlines the main themes which have been investigated to date using data from PIAAC. Third, the main findings and policy lessons drawn from PIAAC are highlighted. Finally, looking forward to the second cycle of PIAAC, for which planning is now underway, the paper suggests some priority areas for improvement to the survey design in order to add to its analytical usefulness and enhance its utility to policy makers.

» OECD iLibrary


Association between literacy and self-rated poor health in 33 high- and upper-middle-income countries (Education Working Papers, No. 165)

We assess the relationship between general literacy skills and health status by analysing data from the PIAAC, an international survey of about 250 000 adults aged 16-65 years conducted by the OECD from 2011-15 in 33 countries/national sub-regions. Across countries, there seems to be a strong and consistent association between general literacy proficiency and self-rated poor health, independent of prior socio-economic status and income. General literacy proficiency also appears to be a mediator of the association between self-education and self-rated poor health. While the literacy-health association is robust over time, it varies in magnitude across countries. It is strongest for those with a tertiary or higher degree and does not appear to exist among young adults (ages 25 to 34 years). Future studies are required to understand the contextual factors that modify the general literacy proficiency-health association.

» OECD iLibrary


How returns to skills depend on formal qualifications - Evidence from PIAAC (Education Working Papers, No. 163)

Using PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) data for 21 countries, we study interrelationships between formal qualifications, cognitive skills, and labour market outcomes, focusing on comparisons between less and intermediate-educated adults (i.e. between adults with a degree below the upper secondary and at the upper secondary level). Less-educated adults tend to have lower cognitive skills than intermediate-educated adults, yet both groups are internally heterogeneous. In country-specific individual-level regressions, cognitive skills partly explain the lower occupational status of less-educated adults, but cross-national variation in their disadvantage remains substantial after accounting for skills.

» OECD iLibrary



Personality matters: relevance and assessment of personality characteristics (Education Working Papers, No. 157)

This paper reviews the scientific literature covering a wide range of personality characteristics, discussing their conceptualisations and main features, their relevance for important outcomes in life and work, and the chief ways they are measured. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview of various attributes of personality from the perspective of their potential importance for the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), taking into account their analytical potential and policy relevance. The paper also outlines and evaluates the most important measurement instruments for each personality characteristic, with a focus on short self-report scales as the most appropriate form for inclusion in large-scale international surveys. Finally, it presents some considerations related to the evaluation and promotion of personality characteristics and introduces the substantive and measurement criteria that could be used to select the personality attributes, and related measurement scales, to include in large-scale surveys.

‌‌‌» OECD iLibrary



Adaptive problem solving: Moving Towards a New Assessment Domain in the Second Cycle of PIAAC (Education Working Papers, No. 156)

The set of skills that is required to be a successful citizen in the 21st century is rapidly evolving. New technologies and social systems grow increasingly complex and require individuals to quickly and flexibly adapt to new and changing circumstances. This paper outlines the key features of the domain of adaptive problem solving that is proposed to be assessed in the 2nd cycle of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) in addition to the domains of numeracy and literacy. Adaptive problem solving is considered to be a crucial 21st century skill that combines cognitive and meta-cognitive processes. The paper develops a definition of adaptive problem solving building on relevant work in cognitive psychology and cognitive science, introduces its covariates and preconditions, discusses relevant assessment principles, and provides insights on the relevance of adaptive problem solving for labour markets and social integration.

‌‌‌» OECD iLibrary



Youth in Transition: How do some of the cohorts participating in PISA fare in PIAAC? (Education Working Papers, No. 155)

This paper uses data from PISA and the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to examine the evolution of socio-economic and gender disparities in literacy and numeracy proficiency between the ages of 15 and 27 in the sample of countries that took part in both studies. 

Les compétences des adultes à la loupe n°5:
Les écarts de niveau de compétences associés aux caractéristiques socioéconomiques se creusent-ils entre l’adolescence et le début de l’âge adulte?
Do socio-economic disparities in skills grow between the teenage years and young adulthood?

» Lire le blog: “How inequalities in acquiring skills evolve”, par Francesca Borgonovi 

‌‌‌» OECD iLibrary



Measurement Properties of Non-cognitive Scales in the Polish Follow-up Study on PIAAC (POSTPIAAC) (Education Working Papers, No. 149)

There is a growing literature providing evidence that not only cognitive skills but also non-cognitive skills are important for economic and social outcomes. This paper assesses the measurement properties of the Big Five and Grit scales in a large representative sample of adults in Poland. The data from the Polish Follow-up Study on the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (postPIAAC) include longitudinal information on PIAAC respondents in Poland and additional background information not available in the international study. 

» OECD ilibrary



Analysing Adult's Skills: Proceedings of the 2nd International PIAAC Conference (Haarlem, 2015)

This volume collects a selection of papers from the 2nd PIAAC International conference, jointly organised by the OECD and the Dutch Government in November 2015 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The three papers collected in this volume represent the work of scholars who were invited to present their work in the plenary session of the conference. The authors are all renowned scholars in their respective fields. Each of the papers represents an important contribution to the better understanding of issues of labour market and education policy that are at the centre of the policy concerns of many governments.

 Cover page of the EDU Working Paper n°146

Education, Labour Market Experience and Cognitive Skills (Education Working Papers, No. 146)

This paper examines how formal education and experience in the labour market correlate with measures of human capital available in The Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The findings are consistent with the notion that, in producing human capital, work experience substitutes formal education at the bottom of the schooling distribution. First, the number of years of working experience correlates with literacy proficiency only among low-educated individuals. Secondly, low-educated workers who only perform simple tasks on their jobs (calculating percentages or reading emails) do better in numeracy and literacy tests than similar employees who did not perform those tasks. Thirdly, workers in jobs intensive in numeric tasks perform relatively better in the numeracy section of the PIAAC test than in the literacy part. Overall, our results suggest that the contribution of on-the-job learning to skill formation is about a third of that of compulsory schooling in most of the countries that participated in PIAAC.

» OECD iLibrary

 Cover page of the EDU Working Paper n°145

Ageing and Literacy Skills (Education Working Papers, No. 145)

This paper examines the relationship between age and literacy using data from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL) and The Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). A negative partial relationship between literacy and age exists with literacy declining with age, especially after age 45. However, this relationship could reflect some combination of age and birth cohort effects. The analysis shows that in most participating countries the negative literacy-age profile observed in crosssectional data arises from offsetting ageing and cohort effects. With some exceptions, more recent birth cohorts have lower levels of literacy and individuals from a given birth cohort lose literacy skills after they leave school at a rate greater than indicated by cross-sectional estimates. The results for birth cohort suggest that there is not a general tendency for literacy skills to decline from one generation to the next, but that the majority of the countries examined are doing a poorer job of developing literacy skills in successive generations.

» OECD iLibrary

 Cover page of the EDU Working Paper n°144

"Graduate Jobs" in OECD countries: Analysis Using A New Indicator Based on High Skills Use (Education Working Papers, No. 144)

A recurring issue for education policy-makers is the labour market effect of the long-term global mass expansion of higher education, particularly on what is a “graduate job”. The traditional assumption is that graduate jobs are virtually coterminous with professional and managerial occupations. A new indicator of graduate jobs, termed ISCO(HE)2008, is derived using task-based data drawn from the The Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The new classification shows that several jobs in ISCO major group 3 “Technicians and Associate Professionals” are also classed as graduate jobs in many countries. Altogether, 27.6% of jobs are classified as graduate jobs in the 15 OECD country-regions for which we have data. Considerable variation in the proportion of graduate jobs is found across industries and countries and in the short period from 2011 to 2013, the proportion of graduate jobs has become more diverse across countries.

» OECD iLibrary

 Cover page of the EDU Working Paper n°142

Literacy and Numeracy Proficiency in IALS, ALL and PIAAC (Education Working Papers, No. 142)

This paper analyses proficiency in literacy and numeracy in the countries that have participated in the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS, administered between 1994 and 1998), the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL, administered between 2003 and 2007) and the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC, administered in 2012). While many countries experienced small to modest changes in literacy proficiency between IALS and PIAAC, others saw sizeable variations, mostly on the negative side.

» OECD ilibrary

 PIAAC WKP 134 Returns to ICT Skills (Cover page)

Returns to ICT Skills (Education Working Papers, No. 134)
How important is mastering information and communication technologies (ICT) in modern labour markets? We present the first evidence on this question, drawing on unique data that provide internationally comparable information on ICT skills in 19 countries from the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Our identification strategy relies on the idea that Internet access is important in the formation of ICT skills, and we implement instrumental-variable models that leverage exogenous variation in Internet availability across countries and across German municipalities. ICT skills are substantially rewarded in the labour market: returns are at 8% for a onestandard- deviation increase in ICT skills in the international analysis and are almost twice as large in Germany. Placebo estimations show that exogenous Internet availability cannot explain numeracy or literacy skills, suggesting that our identifying variation is independent of a person’s general ability. Our results further suggest that the proliferation of computers complements workers in executing abstract tasks that require ICT skills.

» OECD iLibrary

 PIAAC WKP 133: Test-taking engagement in PIAAC (cover page)

Test-taking engagement in PIAAC (Education Working Papers, No. 133)
In this study, we investigated how empirical indicators of test-taking engagement can be defined,empirically validated, and used to describe group differences in the context of the Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC). The approach was to distinguish between disengaged and engaged response behavior by means of response time thresholds.

» OECD iLibrary


Age, ageing and skills: Results from the Survey of Adult Skills (Education Working Papers, No. 132)
This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the link between age and proficiency in information-processing skills, based on information drawn from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). The data reveal significant age-related differences in proficiencies, strongly suggesting that proficiency tends to "naturally" decline with age. Age differences in proficiency are, at first sight, substantial. On average across the OECD countries participating in PIAAC, adults aged 55 to 65 score some 30 points less than adults aged 25 to 34 on the PIAAC literacy scale, which is only slightly smaller than the score point difference between tertiary educated and less-than-upper-secondary educated individuals. However, despite their lower levels of proficiency, older individuals do not seem to suffer in terms of labour market outcomes. In particular, they generally earn higher wages, and much of the available empirical evidence suggests that they are not less productive than younger workers. Older and more experienced individuals seem therefore able to compensate the decline in information processing skills with the development of other skills, generally much more difficult to measure. On the other hand, proficiency in information-processing skills remain a strong determinant of important outcomes at all ages: this makes it important to better understand which factors are the most effective in preventing such age-related decline in proficiency, which does not occur to the same extent in all countries and for all individuals.

‌‌‌Les compétences des adultes à la loupe n°3:
Quel rapport entre l'âge et les compétences ?
What does age have to do with skills proficiency?

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Adults with low proficiency in literacy or numeracy (Education Working Papers, No. 131)
This report offers a comprehensive analysis of the information from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) regarding adults with low literacy and numeracy proficiency. The report describes the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of these populations and explores the frequency with which they engage in the reading, writing and numeracy practices.  Levels of engagement in these literacy practices are then related with a number of social and economic outcomes. Performance on the simple reading tasks (the so called “reading components”) of adults with low proficiency is also analysed as well as their participation rates in formal or non-formal adult education or training programmes.

Ce rapport a été partiellement financé par l'Union européenne.

Annexe statistique:
- Graphiques inclus dans le rapport et données correspondantes
Annexe au chapitre 3 (Tableaux et graphiques)

Les compétences des adultes à la loupe n°2:
Qu’entend-on réellement par faibles compétences en littératie ?
What does low proficiency in literacy really mean?

Lire le blog: Making literacy everybody's business, par Andreas Schleicher

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The effects of vocational education on adult skills and wages (Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 168)
Vocational education and training are highly valued by many. The European Ministers for Vocational Education and Training, the European Social Partners and the European Commission have issued in 2010 the Bruges Communiqué, which describes the global vision for VET in Europe 2020. In this vision, vocational skills and competencies are considered as important as academic skills and competencies. VET is expected to play an important role in achieving two Europe 2020 headline targets set in the education field: a) reduce the rate of early school leavers from education to less than 10 percent; b) increase the share of 30 to 40 years old having completed tertiary or equivalent education to at least 40 percent. However, there is limited hard evidence that VET can improve education and labour market outcomes. The few existing studies yield mixed results partly due to differences in the structure and quality of VET across countries.

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The causes and consequences of field-of-study mismatch An analysis using PIAAC

The causes and consequences of field-of-study mismatch: An analysis using PIAAC (Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 167)
Field‑of‑study mismatch occurs when workers educated in a particular field work in another. It is conceptually distinct from qualifications or skills mismatch, although a part of qualifications and skills mismatch results from graduates from a particular field having to downgrade to find work in another field. Some studies have identified labour market dynamics related to field-of-study mismatch, but few (if any) have sought to directly understand the interplay between labour supply factors (the types of skills brought to the workplace) and the labour demand factors (the types of skills demanded by employers) in field‑of‑study mismatch. Using data from the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies’ Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), this paper shows that although students may choose to specialise in a particular field, it is not solely up to them to actually work in that field.

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PIAAC PUB Time for the US to Reskill

Time for the U.S. to Reskill? What the Survey of Adult Skills Says
Literacy and numeracy skills lie at the root of our capacity to communicate, live and work together, to develop and share knowledge. They matter for economic success and social well-being. This report draws on the new international OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to highlight the challenges faced by the United States. It shows that the United States should take action to improve adult skills, if it wants to avoid falling behind other countries. The report also advances a set of key recommendations to improve basic skills across the board.

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Working and learning: A diversity of patterns (Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 169)
The combination of work and study has been hailed as crucial to ensure that youth develop the skills required on the labour market so that transitions from school to work are shorter and smoother. This paper fills an important gap in availability of internationally-comparable data. Using the 2012 Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), it draws a comprehensive picture of work and study in 23 countries/regions.

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