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The Role of Gender in Employment Polarization

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  • Fabio Cerina
  • Alessio Moro
  • Michelle Rendall

Abstract

We document that U.S. employment polarization in the 1980-2017 period is largely generated by women. In addition, we provide evidence that the increase of employ- ment shares at the bottom of the skill distribution are generated in market sectors producing services representing home production substitutes. We then show that a canonical model of skill-biased technological change augmented with a gender dimen- sion, an endogenous market/home labor choice and a two-sector market environment accounts well for gender, sectoral and overall employment polarization. Counterfactual experiments suggest that without the large increase in the skill premium of high-skilled women, employment polarization would have been substantially reduced, and changes of employment shares at the bottom of the distribution would have been negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Cerina & Alessio Moro & Michelle Rendall, 2020. "The Role of Gender in Employment Polarization," Monash Economics Working Papers 09-20, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2020-09
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    Cited by:

    1. F. Cerina & E. Dienesch & A. Moro & M. Rendall, 2019. "Spatial Polarization," Working Paper CRENoS 201909, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    2. Vahagn Jerbashian, 2019. "Automation and Job Polarization: On the Decline of Middling Occupations in Europe," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 81(5), pages 1095-1116, October.
    3. Youngsoo Jang & Minchul Yum, 2022. "Nonlinear Occupations and Female Labor Supply Over Time," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 46, pages 51-73, October.
    4. Petrongolo, Barbara & Ronchi, Maddalena, 2020. "Gender gaps and the structure of local labor markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    5. Moro, Alessio & Valdes, Carlo, 2019. "Stuctural transformation in general equilibrium," MERIT Working Papers 2019-049, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Youngsoo Jang & Minchul Yum, 2022. "Nonlinear Occupations and Female Labor Supply Over Time," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 46, pages 51-73, October.
    7. Michael Bar & Moshe Hazan & Oksana Leukhina & David Weiss & Hosny Zoabi, 2018. "Why did rich families increase their fertility? Inequality and marketization of child care," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 427-463, December.
    8. Petrongolo, Barbara & Ronchi, Maddalena, 2020. "A survey of gender gaps through the lens of the industry structure and local labor markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108438, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Hunt, Jennifer & Nunn, Ryan, 2022. "Has U.S. employment really polarized? A critical reappraisal," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    10. Diego A. Comin & Ana Danieli & Martí Mestieri, 2020. "Income-driven Labor Market Polarization," NBER Working Papers 27455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Harrigan, James & Reshef, Ariell & Toubal, Farid, 2021. "The March of the Techies: Job Polarization Within and Between Firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(7).
    12. Hunt, Jennifer & Nunn, Ryan, 2019. "Is Employment Polarization Informative about Wage Inequality and Is Employment Really Polarizing?," IZA Discussion Papers 12472, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Gaetano Basso, 2019. "The evolution of the occupational structure in Italy in the last decade," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 478, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. Gaetano Basso & Giovanni Peri & Ahmed S. Rahman, 2020. "Computerization and immigration: Theory and evidence from the United States," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1457-1494, November.
    15. Orhun Sevinc, 2017. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and Labor Market Polarization: The Role of Skill Heterogeneity Within Occupations," Discussion Papers 1728, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    16. Kathrin Ellieroth, 2017. "Cyclicality of Hours Worked by Married Women and Spousal Insurance," CAEPR Working Papers 2017-009, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    17. Gaetano Basso, 2020. "The Evolution of the Occupational Structure in Italy, 2007–2017," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(2), pages 673-704, November.
    18. Luciana Aimone Gigio, & Silvia Camussi & Vincenzo Maccarrone, 2021. "Changes in the employment structure and in job quality in Italy: a national and regional analysis," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 603, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment Polarization; Gender; Skill Premium; Home Production.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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