ILO Research Department Webinar

Knowledge Intensity and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data

Do knowledge intensive jobs exhibit lower gender gaps in wages? Here we use a linked employer-employee dataset of the entire Brazilian formal labour force to study the relationship between gender wage gaps and the knowledge intensity of industries and occupations.

We find that employees in high-skilled occupations and industries experience lower gender wage gaps, and that the effect of knowledge intensity is stronger when the demand for skilled labour is high, and the supply of skilled labour is low. We also find evidence that the gender wage gap of skilled workers, but not that of unskilled workers, decreases when knowledge intense industries grow. These effects are robust to controlling for individual, occupation, sector, and location characteristics. To address endogeneity concerns, we use a Bartik instrument based on labour demand shocks. Together, these findings suggest that competition for skilled labour in knowledge intense industries contributes to the reduction of gender wage gaps.

Presentation of the paper: Knowledge Intensity and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data, co-authored with Cristian Jara-Figueroa, César A. Hidalgo, and Martina Viarengo.

Chair & Discussant: Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, Econometrician, Wage Specialist, Wage Group – INWORK, International Labour Organization
Presenter: Radu Barza, Research Assistant, Center of International Environmental Studies; PHD Student in Development Economics, the Graduate Institute Geneva

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