The Role of Gender in Employment Polarization

University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 250

42 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2017 Last revised: 26 Apr 2017

See all articles by Fabio Cerina

Fabio Cerina

Centre for North South Economic Research (CRENos)

Alessio Moro

University of Cagliari

Michelle Rendall

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 1, 2017

Abstract

We document that U.S. employment polarization in the 1980-2008 period is largely generated by women. Female employment shares increase both at the bottom and at the top of the skill distribution, generating the typical U-shape polarization graph, while male employment shares decrease in a more similar fashion along the whole skill distribution. We show that a canonical model of skill-biased technological change augmented with a gender dimension, an endogenous market/home labor choice and a multi-sector environment accounts well for gender and overall employment polarization. The model also accounts for the absence of employment polarization during the 1960-1980 period and broadly reproduces the different evolution of employment shares across decades during the 1980-2008 period. The faster growth of skill-biased technological change since the 1980s accounts for most of the employment polarization generated by the model.

Keywords: Job Polarization, Gender, Skill-Biased Technological Change, Home Production

JEL Classification: E20, E21, J16

Suggested Citation

Cerina, Fabio and Moro, Alessio and Rendall, Michelle, The Role of Gender in Employment Polarization (March 1, 2017). University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 250. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2951231 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2951231

Fabio Cerina (Contact Author)

Centre for North South Economic Research (CRENos) ( email )

Facolta di Scienze Politiche via Sant'Ignazio 78
Cagliari, 09124
Italy
+390706753765 (Phone)
+390706753760 (Fax)

Alessio Moro

University of Cagliari ( email )

Via S.Ignazio 17
Cagliari
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://economia.unica.it/deca/

Michelle Rendall

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Z├╝rich
Switzerland

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