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On Simplifying the Structure of Labour Demand: An Analysis of the DOT Data

Author

Listed:
  • Vijverberg, Wim P.

    () (CUNY Graduate Center)

  • Hartog, Joop

    () (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

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 most variation in job requirements. Job complexity in relation to Things correlates highly with the dexterity factor. Complexity in relation to Data is intricately interwoven with most other dimensions of jobs. Remarkably, while complexity in relation to Data and to Things associates with extensive training, this does not hold for complexity in relation to People. There is no dichotomy between mathematical and verbal required skills. Poor working conditions are not the exclusive prerogative for workers in low level jobs. This independence provides a good setting for testing the theory of compensating wage differentials and indeed we find a good deal of support.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1809
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lucas, Robert E B, 1977. "Hedonic Wage Equations and Psychic Wages in the Returns to Schooling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 549-558, September.
    2. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    3. Charles Brown, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-134.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kuralbayeva, Karlygash & Stefanski, Radoslaw, 2013. "Windfalls, structural transformation and specialization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 273-301.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    job requirements; compensating differentials; labor demand structure;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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