Is there any difference in wages between the genders in the workplace?
Skill-biased technical change may reduce the demand for jobs that can be automated. As female workers are more strongly associated with soft-cognitive skills, this would decrease the gender wage gap. Furthermore, social tasks would be less affected by the technical change which may favor women as they are believed to have a comparative advantage in interpersonal skills. However, this perspective may ignore important supply-side factors that drive job preference and labor participation.
- Gender Wage Gap and Structural Changes
2.1 Gender wage inequality
The difference in wages between genders has decreased substantially over the past decades. Human capital factors were found to be insufficient for explaining the gap, with standard economic models struggling to replicate recent movements. Several supply-side and demand-side factors for the gap changes may exist. Labour market discrimination may impair the growth of wages of particular groups of workers. Structural changes in industries may affect women labor participation. Increased demand for jobs requiring interpersonal skills may favor women as they could have a comparative advantage in social tasks.
Wage differential may be exacerbated by married women spending substantial time on housework and childcare. This basis for occupational differences could lead to a different distribution of employment across occupations. In particular, married women might be more likely to work in the service sector. As the skill-biased technological change may lead to different prices for interpersonal skills, this increases the opportunity cost of spending more time on housework and childcare.