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People Skills and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups

Author

Listed:
  • Bas ter Weel

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Lex Borghans
  • Bruce A. Weinberg

Abstract

This paper shows that people skills are important determinants of labor-market outcomes, including occupational choice and wages. Technological and organizational changes have increased the importance of people skills in the workplace. We particularly focus on how the increased importance of people skills has affected the labor-market outcomes of underrepresented groups assuming gender differences in interactions and that cultural differences (including prejudice) may impede cross-racial and ethnic interactions. Our estimates for Britain, Germany and the United States are consistent with such an explanation. Acceleration in the rate of increase in the importance of people skills between the late 1970s and early 1990s in the US can help explain why the gender-wage gap closed and the black-white wage gap stagnated in these years relative to the preceding and following years.

Suggested Citation

  • Bas ter Weel & Lex Borghans & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2013. "People Skills and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," CPB Discussion Paper 253, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:253
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    Cited by:

    1. Elisabeth Bublitz, 2018. "Matching skills of individuals and firms along the career path," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 509-537.
    2. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:789-865 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks, And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 856-892, November.
    4. L. Rachel Ngai & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-44, October.
    5. Maury Gittleman & Kristen Monaco & Nicole Nestoriak, 2017. "The Requirements of Jobs: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey," NBER Chapters,in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Vahagn Jerbashian, 2016. "Automation and Job Polarization: On the Decline of Middling Occupations in Europe," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp576, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1032-1053 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Edo, Anthony & Toubal, Farid, 2017. "Immigration and the gender wage gap," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 196-214.
    10. Bode, Eckhardt & Brunow, Stephan & Ott, Ingrid & Sorgner, Alina, 2016. "Worker personality: Another skill bias beyond education in the digital age," Working Paper Series in Economics 98, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    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. David Deming & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Skill Requirements across Firms and Labor Markets: Evidence from Job Postings for Professionals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 337-369.
    13. Michael Baker & Kirsten Cornelson, 2016. "Gender Based Occupational Segregation and Sex Differences in Sensory, Motor and Spatial Aptitudes," NBER Working Papers 22248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. repec:zbw:ifwebk:170571 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2017. "Occupation and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Subha Mani & Saurabh Singhal & Smriti Sharma & Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2016. "Caste differences in behaviour and personality Evidence from India," WIDER Working Paper Series 060, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    17. Michael Baker & Kirsten Cornelson, 2016. "Title IX and the Spatial Content of Female Employment—Out of the Lab and into the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 22641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • 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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