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Work Experience as a Source of Specification Error in Earnings Models: Implications for Gender Wage Decompositions

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  • Regan, Tracy L.

    () (Boston College)

  • Oaxaca, Ronald L.

    () (University of Arizona)

Abstract

We address the bias from using potential vs. actual experience in earnings models. Statistical tests reject the classical errors-in-variable framework. The nature of the measurement error is best viewed as a model misspecification problem. We correct for this by modeling actual experience as a stochastic regressor and predicting experience using the NLSY79 and the PSID. Predicted experience measures are applied to the IPUMS. Our results suggest that potential experience biases the effects of schooling and the rates of return to labor market experience. Using such a measure in earnings models underestimates the explained portion of the male-female wage gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Regan, Tracy L. & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2006. "Work Experience as a Source of Specification Error in Earnings Models: Implications for Gender Wage Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 1920, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1920
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marie Drolet & Karen Mumford, 2012. "The Gender Pay Gap for Private-Sector Employees in Canada and Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 50(3), pages 529-553, September.
    2. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2018. "Gender Pay Gaps in the Former Soviet Union: A Review of the Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_899, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Christophe Nordman & Faly Rakotomanana & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2009. "Gender Disparities in the Malagasy Labour Market," Working Papers DT/2009/08, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4304 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chung Choe, 2013. "Determinants of Labor Market Outcomes of Disabled Men Before and After the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 29, pages 211-233.
    6. Richey, Jeremiah & Rosburg, Alicia, 2015. "Decomposing economic mobility transition matrices," MPRA Paper 66485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Christophe J. Nordman & François Roubaud, 2009. "Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap in Madagascar: Does Labor Force Attachment Really Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 785-808, July.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4305 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Cinthya G. Caamal Olvera, 2017. "Decreasing returns to schooling in Mexico," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 32(1), pages 27-63.
    10. Filipe Almeida-Santos & Yekaterina Chzhen & Karen Mumford, 2010. "Employee training and wage dispersion: white- and blue-collar workers in Britain," Research in Labor Economics,in: Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being, volume 30, pages 35-60 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    11. BALDWIN Marjorie L. & CHOE Chung, 2010. "New Estimates of Disability-Related Wage Discrimination with Controls for Job Demands," LISER Working Paper Series 2010-14, LISER.
    12. Christophe Nordman & Anne-Sophie Robilliard & François Roubaud, 2009. "Decomposing Gender and Ethnic Earnings Gaps in Seven West African Cities," Working Papers DT/2009/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    13. de Brauw, Alan & Russell, Joseph R. D, 2014. "Revisiting the labor demand curve: The wage effects of immigration and women’s entry into the US labor force, 1960–2010:," IFPRI discussion papers 1402, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Tracy L. Regan & Ronald L. Oaxaca & Galen Burghardt, 2007. "A Human Capital Model Of The Effects Of Ability And Family Background On Optimal Schooling Levels," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 721-738, October.
    15. Yekaterina Chzhen & Karen Mumford, "undated". "Gender Gaps Across the Earnings Distribution in Britain: Are Women Bossy Enough?," Discussion Papers 09/27, Department of Economics, University of York.
    16. Richey, Jeremiah & Rosburg, Alicia, 2016. "Decomposing Joint Distributions via Reweighting Functions: An Application to Intergenerational Economic Mobility," MPRA Paper 74744, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Nordman, Christophe J. & Robilliard, Anne-Sophie & Roubaud, François, 2011. "Gender and ethnic earnings gaps in seven West African cities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 132-145.
    18. Jeffrey Zax, 2016. "Provincial valuations of human capital in urban China, inter-regional inequality and the implicit value of a Guangdong hukou," ERSA conference papers ersa16p693, European Regional Science Association.
    19. Chzhen, Yekaterina & Mumford, Karen, 2011. "Gender gaps across the earnings distribution for full-time employees in Britain: Allowing for sample selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 837-844.
    20. Michael Bar & Seik Kim & Oksana Leukhina, 2015. "Gender Wage Gap Accounting: The Role of Selection Bias," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1729-1750, October.
    21. Fraga, Eduardo & Gonzaga, Gustavo & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2017. "Selection on Ability and the Early Career Growth in the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 10791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decomposition; specification error; experience; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • 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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