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Two Sides of the Same Coin: U.S. "Residual" Inequality and the Gender Gap

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  • Marigee P. Bacolod
  • Bernardo S. Blum

Abstract

We show that the narrowing gender gap and the growth in earnings inequality are consistent with a simple model in which skills are heterogeneous, and the growth in skill prices has been particularly strong for skills with which women are well endowed. Empirical analysis of DOT, CPS, and NLSY79 data finds evidence to support this model. A large increase in the prices of cognitive and people skills—skills with which women are well endowed—and a decline in the price of motor skills account for up to 40 percent of the rising inequality and 20 percent of the narrowing gender gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Marigee P. Bacolod & Bernardo S. Blum, 2010. "Two Sides of the Same Coin: U.S. "Residual" Inequality and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:i:1:p197-242
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shelly Lundberg, 2010. "The Changing Sexual Division of Labour," Chapters,in: The Shape of the Division of Labour, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:789-865 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Okumura Tsunao & Usui Emiko, 2014. "Do Parents’ Social Skills Influence Their Children’s Sociability?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-36, July.
    4. Rendall, Michelle, 2013. "Structural Change in Developing Countries: Has it Decreased Gender Inequality?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-16.
    5. Tsunao Okumura & Emiko Usui, 2016. "Intergenerational Transmission of Skills and Differences in Labor Market Outcomes for Blacks and Whites," Research in Labor Economics,in: Inequality: Causes and Consequences, volume 43, pages 227-286 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    6. Colin Caines & Florian Hoffmann & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2017. "Complex-Task Biased Technological Change and the Labor Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 298-319, April.
    7. Kate Antonovics & Limor Golan, 2012. "Experimentation and Job Choice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 333-366.
    8. repec:eee:jhecon:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:151-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    10. Capatina, Elena, 2014. "Skills and the evolution of wage inequality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 41-57.
    11. Edivaldo C. Neves Jr & Carlos R. Azzoni, Andre Chagas, 2017. "Skill wage premium and city size," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2017_19, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    12. Razzolini, Tiziano & Leombruni, Roberto & Mastrobuoni, Giovanni & Pagliero, Mario, 2014. "Beneath the surface: The decline in gender injury gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 282-288.
    13. Sauré, Philip & Zoabi, Hosny, 2014. "International trade, the gender wage gap and female labor force participation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 17-33.
    14. Robert M. Solow & Jean-Philippe Touffut (ed.), 2010. "The Shape of the Division of Labour," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14184, December.
    15. Up Lim & Ye Choi & Heonyoung Lee, 2015. "Occupational skills and the gender wage gap in Seoul, Korea: a multilevel approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 55(2), pages 335-356, December.
    16. Kato, Takao & Kodama, Naomi, 2017. "Women in the Workplace and Management Practices: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 10788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Bowlus, Audra J. & Mori, Hiroaki & Robinson, Chris, 2016. "Ageing and the skill portfolio: Evidence from job based skill measures," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 89-103.
    18. Marigee Bacolod & Marcos A. Rangel, 2017. "Economic Assimilation and Skill Acquisition: Evidence From the Occupational Sorting of Childhood Immigrants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(2), pages 571-602, April.
    19. Hanna Wielandt, 2015. "Employment Polarization and Immigrant Employment Opportunities," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2015-025, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    20. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & Khamis, Melanie & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2014. "Convergences in Men's and Women's Life Patterns: Lifetime Work, Lifetime Earnings, and Human Capital Investment," IZA Discussion Papers 8425, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Moshe HAZAN & Hosny ZOABI, 2015. "Sons or Daughters? Sex Preferences and the Reversal of the Gender Educational Gap," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 179-201, June.
    22. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2012. "Tasks and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-53.
    23. Susumu Imai & Derek Stacey & Casey Warman, 2014. "From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Language Proficiency and the Occupational Skills of Immigrants," Working Paper Series 18, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    24. David J. Deming, 2015. "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 21473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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