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The gender dimension of technical change and the role of task inputs

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  • Lindley, Joanne

Abstract

By 2011, the employment shares of UK graduate men and women had become equal for the first time. With no evidence of a significantly declining graduate female–male wage differential, this suggests that the relative demand for graduate women must have increased in order to accommodate the faster increase in their relative supply. However, gender clustering in degree subjects suggests that male and female graduates may not be perfect substitutes in production and therefore that gender biases may exist in the relative demand and supply of graduate labour. Consequently, this paper investigates whether industry level skill demand shifts have differed for men and women, focussing specifically on the role of technical change and job task inputs. The paper shows that, despite the large growth in the percentage of women obtaining a degree, overall women lost out from technical change between 1997 and 2006. This was most likely as a consequence of their lower quality numeracy and literacy skills, as well as other skills required to undertake the tasks that are correlated with technical change, especially in highly computerised private sector industries like finance and machine manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindley, Joanne, 2012. "The gender dimension of technical change and the role of task inputs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 516-526.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:4:p:516-526 DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.05.005
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fedorets, Alexandra, 2014. "Closing the Gender Pay Gap and Individual Task Profiles: Women s Advantages from Technological Progress," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100362, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Alena Bicakova & Stepan Jurajda, 2014. "The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp504, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    3. Elsayed, A.E.A. & de Grip, A. & Fouarge, D., 2014. "Job tasks, computer use, and the decreasing part-time pay penalty for women in the UK," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    4. Dengler, Katharina & Matthes, Britta & Paulus, Wiebke, 2014. "Occupational Tasks in the German Labour Market : an alternative measurement on the basis of an expert database," FDZ Methodenreport 201412_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. Dengler, Katharina & Matthes, Britta & Paulus, Wiebke, 2014. "Berufliche Tasks auf dem deutschen Arbeitsmarkt : eine alternative Messung auf Basis einer Expertendatenbank (Occupational Tasks in the German Labour Market : an alternative measurement on the basis o," FDZ Methodenreport 201412_de, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    6. Martina Bisello, 2013. "Job polarization in Britain from a task-based perspective.Evidence from the UK Skills Surveys," Discussion Papers 2013/160, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender pay; Task-biassed technical change; Skills;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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