Occupational Complexity, Experience, and the Gender Wage Gap
I explore the role of individuals' skills and work experience in explaining the gender wage gap across occupations. I use the O*NET dataset to build an index of occupational complexity: the ratio of abstract to manual tasks. The ratio of female to male wages is U-shaped across occupations ordered by increasing complexity. The U-shape flattens over the lifecycle and across successive cohorts. I develop an occupational choice model with male and female individuals who are heterogeneous with respect to their level of skill. An individual's skill at a point in time depends on his/her exogenous initial level of skill and his/her work experience. Individuals decide how much time to spend in the labor market. Occupations differ by two features in my model: 1) the skill required to perform, and 2) the marginal product of skill. If occupations involve simple tasks, output and wages vary little across workers of different initial skill levels. Also, acquired work experience influences wages only slightly, since little can be learned by performing simple tasks. I discipline the model with data on occupational complexity, occupational choice, labor supply and male wages. The model reproduces the gender wage gap across occupations for cohorts born between 1915 and 1955. The little work experience of females relative to that of males is a key factor behind the U-shape. It decreases female wages disproportionately across occupations and it influences female occupational selection. I find that 69% of the lifecycle gender wage gap is attributable to work experience. Removing differences in work experience between genders results in a larger fraction of females choosing occupations for which the gender wage differential is smaller.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|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/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Todd Schoellman, 2010.
"The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants,"
Journal of Human Capital,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34.
- Todd Schoellman, 2009. "The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2009_19, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
- Schoellman, Todd, 2009. "The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants," MPRA Paper 14236, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002.
"Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles,"
NBER Working Papers
8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Todd Schoellman & Lutz Hendricks, 2009.
"Student Abilities During the Expansion of U.S. Education, 1950-2000,"
2009 Meeting Papers
162, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Hendricks, Lutz & Schoellman, Todd, 2009. "Student Abilities During the Expansion of U.S. Education, 1950-2000," MPRA Paper 12798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed013:348. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.