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Changes in Returns to Task-Specific Skills and Gender Wage Gap

  • Shintaro Yamaguchi

How did skilled-biased technological change affect wage inequality, particularly between men and women? To answer that question this paper constructs a task-based Roy model in which workers possess a bundle of basic skills, and occupations are characterized as a bundle of basic tasks. The model is structurally estimated using the task data from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and the PSID. The main empirical finding is that men have more motor skills than women, but the returns to motor skills have dropped significantly, accounting for more than 40% of the narrowing gender wage gap.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number gd12-275.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd12-275
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  1. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  2. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys 1984-2000," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20083, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter & Weinberg,Bruce A., 2005. "People People: Social Capital and the Labor-Market - Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  4. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Heckman, James & Scheinkman, Jose, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 243-55, April.
  6. Black, Sandra E. & Spitz-Oener, Alexandra, 2007. "Explaining Women's Success: Technological Change and the Skill Content of Women's Work," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-033, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Teulings, Coen N, 1995. "The Wage Distribution in a Model of the Assignment of Skills to Jobs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 280-315, April.
  8. Nicole M. Fortin, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap among Young Adults in the United States: The Importance of Money versus People," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  9. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  10. Firpo, Sergio & Fortin, Nicole M. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2011. "Occupational Tasks and Changes in the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 5542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Shujie Ma & Jeffrey S. Racine & Lijian Yang, 2015. "Spline Regression in the Presence of Categorical Predictors," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(5), pages 705-717, 08.
  12. Jason M. Fletcher & Jody L. Sindelar, 2009. "Estimating Causal Effects of Early Occupational Choice on Later Health: Evidence Using the PSID," NBER Working Papers 15256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
  14. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1993. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus Brawn: The Realization of Women's Comparative Advantage," 2010 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:3:p:1061-1110 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Gathmann, Christina & Schönberg, Uta, 2006. "How General Is Specific Human Capital?," IZA Discussion Papers 2485, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2004. "What Effect Do Unions Have on Wages Now and Would Freeman and Medoff Be Surprised?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 383-414, July.
  19. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Computer use and the demand for female workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 290-308, January.
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