Changes in Returns to Task-Specific Skills and Gender Wage Gap

51 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2012 Last revised: 27 Aug 2016

See all articles by Shintaro Yamaguchi

Shintaro Yamaguchi

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Economics

Date Written: August 23, 2016

Abstract

What role did skilled-biased technological change play in narrowing the wage inequality, particularly between men and women? To answer that question this paper constructs a task-based Roy model in which workers possess a bundle of basic skills and occupations are characterized as a bundle of basic tasks. The model is estimated using the task data from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and the PSID. The main empirical finding is that men have more motor skills than women, but the returns to motor skills have dropped significantly, accounting for a major part of the narrowed gender wage gap from 1980 to 2000. During the period of 2000-2010, the returns to motor skills were stable, but the estimates suggest that the faster growth of women's cognitive and general skills compared to men's reduced the gender wage gap.

Keywords: Roy model, task-based approach, occupational choice, skill-biased technological change, soft skills

JEL Classification: J24, J31

Suggested Citation

Yamaguchi, Shintaro, Changes in Returns to Task-Specific Skills and Gender Wage Gap (August 23, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2035833 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2035833

Shintaro Yamaguchi (Contact Author)

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Economics ( email )

Tokyo
Japan

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