We find that the change in the content of job-to-job transitions as measured by individual tasks and skill level is broadly similar within and outside of recessions. These results are in contrast to studies using occupation category as a proxy for job content and showing that the probability of changing occupation is pro-cylical. Our results suggest that factors related to individual and job characteristics are stronger predictors of skill reallocation than the business cycle.
I provide evidence that task use at work by men and women in the same occupations is significantly different. The observed difference can account for the within-occupational gender-wage gap that is prevalent in many developed countries. Using data for thirteen European countries, I find that women consistently report spending less time than men on specific job tasks. The effect is exacerbated with fertility and selection into the labour force, however neither mechanism can completely account for the observed differences. The difference is also not accounted for by the type of occupations in which women are employed, nor their working hours and it is not driven by measurement error. Similarly to studies for the US and Australia, I find that a large portion of the gender wage-gap is found among individuals employed in the same occupational titles. However, controlling for both occupations and task use in a wage equation accounts for the entirety of the within-occupational gender wage-gap, for all countries in the sample.
Job Tasks and Mismatch Within Occupations
I propose a new multi-dimensional measure of mismatch derived from individual-level information on skills and tasks. Previous measures have either entirely excluded information about tasks or have used tasks aggregated at the level of the occupation, rather than at the individual level. I find that across nine European countries, up to 24% of the population is mismatched in literacy and 15% in numeracy. I also find that for Northern European countries, extreme levels of skill-task mismatch are negatively correlated with wages and the correlation persists within occupations. Southern and Central Europe do not appear to exhibit any correlation between mismatch and wages, either between or within occupations. Subsequently, I compare the new measure to existing measures of mismatch from the literature. I find that measures based on higher levels of data aggregation or measures excluding the role of tasks tend to consistently under-estimate the cross-sectional correlation between mismatch and wages.
Do Second Chances Pay off? Evidence from a Natural Experiment with Low-Achieving Students (with Rigissa Megalokonomou and Stefania Simion)