Conferences at Department of Economics, University of Toronto, RCEF 2012: Cities, Open Economies, and Public Policy

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

Shintaro Yamaguchi*

Last modified: 2012-06-26


How did the skilled-biased technological change affect wage inequality, particularly the one between men and women? To answer this question, this paper constructs an extended 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 by a nonlinear correlated random effect regression using data from Dictionary of Occupational Titles and PSID. I find that men have more motor skills than women, but the returns to motor skills sharply dropped, which accounts for about a half of the narrowing gender wage gap. In addition, women's increase in cognitive skills and improved occupational positions also had reduced the gender wage gap significantly.

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