Discussion paper

DP16915 CREATIVE AGAINST THE PANDEMIC: Measuring Creativity in Rural India

Defining metrics for assessing soft skills has long been an unresolved issue for social
scientists. We develop a new methodology to study and measure a specific soft skill,
creativity, by combining mixed-method data collections with statistical analysis. We
draw close-ended questions on creativity from the management literature. We also design
a novel set of open-ended questions on creativity. We administer both sets of questions
to 137 Indian women in December 2020. After using qualitative coding methods to score
each woman’s creativity, we cross-validate the two sets of questions and find positive
correlation. We then apply this methodology to study how the pandemic has affected
creativity. We find that women’s creativity increased during the Covid-19 pandemic,
and that increases in creativity are associated with better ex-ante social connectedness.
Our approach of combining quantitative questions with coded qualitative interviews can
be adapted to design survey modules to measure other soft skills.


Barboni, G, E Giannone and K Sharma (2022), ‘DP16915 CREATIVE AGAINST THE PANDEMIC: Measuring Creativity in Rural India‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16915. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16915