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Careers guidance, psychometric testing and unemployment amongst young people: an empirical analysis for Northern Ireland

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Psychometric tests continue to form an important part of careers guidance for young people of school leaving age throughout the UK. In the existing literature, there is little evidence about the impact of testing on subsequent labour market success. This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the effect of testing in Northern Ireland on young people's subsequent experiences of unemployment and long-term unemployment between the ages of 16 and 18. On account of the sample selection problem, standard single equation estimates of the effects of testing are likely to give biased results, and so the bivariate probit model is used in the estimation. The results suggest that although testing is not having an adverse impact, it is not having a statistically significant positive effect. This may be attributable to some aspects of test administration in Northern Ireland which, in many cases, seems to fall short of recommended guidelines.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1998

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