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Tails of the Travelling Gaussian model and the relative age effect: Tales of age discrimination and wasted talent

Doyle, John, Bottomley, Paul and Angell, Robert 2017. Tails of the Travelling Gaussian model and the relative age effect: Tales of age discrimination and wasted talent. Plos One 12 (4) , e0176206. 10.1371/journal.pone.0176206

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Abstract

The Relative Age Effect (RAE) documents the inherent disadvantages of being younger rather than older in an age-banded cohort, typically a school- or competition-year, to the detriment of career-progression, earnings and wellbeing into adulthood. We develop the Tails of the Travelling Gaussian (TTG) to model the mechanisms behind RAE. TTG has notable advantages over existing approaches, which have been largely descriptive, potentially confounded, and non-comparable across contexts. In Study 1, using data from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study, we investigate the different levels of RAE bias across school-level academic subjects and “personality” traits. Study 2 concerns biased admissions to elite English Premier League soccer academies, and shows the model can still be used with minimal data. We also develop two practical metrics: the discrimination index (ID), to quantify the disadvantages facing cohort-younger children; and the wastage metric (W), to quantify the loss through untapped potential. TTG is sufficiently well-specified to simulate the consequences of ID and W for policy change.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 6 April 2017
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2017 23:03
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/100248

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