This paper analyzes labor market responses to productivity shocks when firms set employment criteria on the basis of the likelihood of hiring high or low productivity…
This paper analyzes labor market responses to productivity shocks when firms set employment criteria on the basis of the likelihood of hiring high or low productivity workers. In response to a positive productivity shock, firms do not raise the criterion as much as the shock, increasing the proportion of low productivity workers among the employed. The observed average productivity may respond negligibly even if employment changes substantially. Interest rate fluctuations can yield an opposite relation between productivity and employment, explaining the weak empirical relationship.
The aim of this article is to define a new kind of labor mobility called technological mobility, defined here as the different levels of technological change experienced…
The aim of this article is to define a new kind of labor mobility called technological mobility, defined here as the different levels of technological change experienced by workers as they change jobs over the course of their career. Technological mobility is viewed as a form of career mobility, and it is hypothesized that moving to jobs in higher‐tech industries might prove beneficial to workers' careers irrespective of the level of education or other measures of ability. Factors that determine upward or downward technological mobility are also investigated.
This hypothesis is tested using data from the NLSY79, a nationally representative survey of the United States, between the years 1988 and 2000. Determinants of upward and downward technological mobility are modeled using industry‐level data on technological mobility. Technological mobility is also regressed against wages to measure its impact on careers.
Gender, education and local economic conditions are found to have a significant effect on technological mobility, but the effect varies depending on the way technological intensity is measured. The results also demonstrate that workers who move to high‐tech industries are indeed rewarded with higher wages, even after controlling for education levels and other known factors.
Technological mobility as defined here is an original concept. It is shown to be an important component of overall career mobility. The article also provides an analysis of workers who are able to make the transition into higher‐tech jobs, which is a valuable addition to the research on technological change.
Although the labor force participation rates for women in the USA have steadily risen during the last three decades, the gender pay gap has not decreased significantly…
Although the labor force participation rates for women in the USA have steadily risen during the last three decades, the gender pay gap has not decreased significantly since 1992. In fact, there is evidence that it actually widened during the 1990s. This paper seeks to present a social economics explanation of this phenomenon. Mainstream economic explanations for the anomalous behavior of the gender pay gap in the USA in recent years usually involve increasing numbers of women opting for part‐time jobs. Recognizing the importance of social change in explaining certain features of the labor market, this paper aims to explore whether a broad change in social attitudes towards women's roles may form the basis for such phenomena.
A unique set of questions from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth which asks the same respondents about their attitudes towards “traditional” roles for women in 1987 and again in 2004 allows measurement of the change in attitudes in individual respondents. The survey population is then partitioned into those whose attitudes towards women's roles became “more traditional” and “less traditional,” and the gender pay gap, as well as other characteristics, of each sub‐population is analyzed.
Of respondents who reported a significant change in their attitude towards women's roles between 1987 and 2004, a larger number of respondents became more traditional in their views, agreeing with statements such as “a woman's place is in the home.” A majority of those with college or professional degrees became more traditional in their attitudes, whereas a majority of those with a high school education became less traditional. Being a woman was significant and negatively correlated with an increase in pay among respondents who became more traditional, whereas no significant correlation was observed among those who became less traditional in their social attitudes.
The results indicate that social attitudes towards women's roles in the USA may have become more traditional during the 1990s, which is a new finding. The correlation found between social attitudes and women's pay provides an insight into why the gender pay gap persists despite the greatly increased labor force participation rates of women.