Women's Economic Progress and Inequality
This paper explores links between women's economic progress and widening inter-industry wage differentials. Each phenomenon arises because of technological change that has favored young women's human capital, in what is called sex-biased technological change. Such technological change helps lower the costs of women of bringing their abilities to the market, enabling more of them to gravitate to the high-tech sector, shifting the relative skill supply. Our theory can simultaneously rationalize the facts on increasing female wages and their participation in the high-tech sector, wage premium favoring the high-tech sector, and female to male wage ratios. Our theory also predicts an amplification of the selection effect on gender difference in productivity in the high-tech sector. We use workers' skill indexes given by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles to determine technology sectors. Results based on state-level data indicate the elasticity of substitution between high and low-skill workers is around 2. We provide evidence in favor of sector participation and wage patterns predicted by our model. The allocative impact of sex-biased technological change is 8 to 10 times larger than the wage effect. The results are robust for all measures of patent innovation.
|Date of creation:||03 Dec 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA|
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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