I study the association between cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and mortality, and investigate how well income and education act as proxy measures for ability. The risk of premature mortality is estimated using Cox proportional hazard models with a dataset of 692,303 Swedish men aged 18-20 years, enlisted between the years 1969-1983, and deaths between the years 1969 and 2009. Results suggest that both cognitive and non-cognitive abilities are strongly associated with mortality, independently and through income and education. Non-cognitive ability is a stronger predictor of the risk of mortality than cognitive ability. For middle and high income earners, and individuals with a college education, there are no associations between the abilities and mortality. However, for low income earners and individuals without a college education, cognitive and non-cognitive ability have strong associations with mortality. Results are mainly driven by the bottom of the measured ability distributions
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.