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On the distribution of job characteristics: an analysis of the DOT data


  • Wim Vijverberg
  • Joop Hartog


We analyse the information in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles to characterize the structure of labour demand. Two dimensions, an intellectual factor and a dexterity factor, capture two-thirds of the variance in job requirements; the remaining (co-)variance cannot be easily structured. Simple linear relationships go a long way in describing the matching between job activities and required worker qualities (Intellect for complex relations to Data and to People, Dexterity for complex relations to Things). There is no dichotomy between mathematical and verbal required skills. Poor working conditions are not restricted to workers in low-level jobs; we find strong support for compensating wage differentials. At more intellectual jobs, men receive less wage compensation for working conditions, while in jobs requiring greater dexterity they receive more. Such a relationship is absent for women.

Suggested Citation

  • Wim Vijverberg & Joop Hartog, 2010. "On the distribution of job characteristics: an analysis of the DOT data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(14), pages 1747-1760.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:14:p:1747-1760
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701736115

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vijverberg, Wim P. & Hartog, Joop, 2005. "On Simplifying the Structure of Labour Demand: An Analysis of the DOT Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1809, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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