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Task implementation heterogeneity and wage dispersion


  • Stefano Visintin


  • Kea Tijdens
  • Stephanie Steinmetz
  • Pablo de Pedraza


Wage dispersion among observationally similar workers is still only partially unexplained by economists from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Given that jobs can be broken down into tasks, namely units of work activities producing output, we empirically test whether part of the observed variation in wages across similar individuals is related to differences in the intensity with which tasks are implemented. We then investigate whether the variety in task implementation shown across occupations is related to cross-occupation wage levels. We found that the variation in task implementation in different occupations is related both to within-occupation wage dispersion and to cross-occupation wage levels: workers in high-wage occupations are less defined around a typical worker than those in other occupations. JEL codes: J22, J24, J31 Copyright Visintin et al. 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Visintin & Kea Tijdens & Stephanie Steinmetz & Pablo de Pedraza, 2015. "Task implementation heterogeneity and wage dispersion," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izalbr:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:1-24:10.1186/s40172-015-0036-2 DOI: 10.1186/s40172-015-0036-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beblavý, Miroslav & Fabo, Brian & Lenaerts, Karolien, 2016. "Demand for Digital Skills in the US Labour Market: The IT Skills Pyramid," CEPS Papers 12055, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    2. Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "Within occupation wage dispersion and the task content of jobs," GRAPE Working Papers 22, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.

    More about this item


    Tasks; Wages; Wage dispersion; Workers; Skills;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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