High schools are told to emphasize basic skills such as math and science in preparing students for college and the workaday world.
But surveys show that employers value social skills -- communication, teamwork, and leadership -- learned in interscholastic athletics and student government higher than technical ones learned in the classroom. So will the student who loads up on extracurricular activities have an advantage in the job market over the bookworm who excelled in the classroom?
Peter Kuhn, a professor of economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will address the issue in "Leadership Skills and Wages: How High School Activities Affect Adult Economic Success," a UCSB Affiliates Economics Forum lecture, Tuesday, April 20.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the Chase Palm Park Recreation Center, 236 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara.
Tickets are $8 for UCSB Affiliates and Chancellor's Council members and $10 to all others. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at (805) 893-4388.
Kuhn will base his remarks on research conducted with Catherine Weinberger, a professional researcher with UCSB's Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research. In their study of the relationship between leadership skills and wages, Kuhn and Weinberger found that men who held leadership positions in high school tend to earn higher salaries as adults.
High school leaders are more likely than others to hold managerial positions as adults and such positions pay higher wages than non-leadership jobs.
Kuhn joined the UCSB faculty in 1999.
He was previously a professor of economics at McMaster University in Canada.
He received a Ph.D. in economics in 1983 at Harvard University.