Digitalisation, Changing Demand for Tasks and the Gender Inequality in Earnings
You are warmly invited to a seminar with Anna Matysiak, University of Warsaw, Poland. Co-authors: Wojciech Hardy and Lucas van der Velde (in cc)
Abstract Across Europe, women still earn less than men. The increasing demand for cognitive skills (both analytical and social), which is inherent to digitalisation, has a potential to influence the gender inequalities in the labour market though the direction of this change is unclear. On the one hand, women may benefit from this change as they are increasingly better educated than men. Furthermore, women are also often better endowed with social and emotional skills, which are increasingly demanded in the labour market and cannot be easily automated. On the other hand, however, gender inequalities in earnings may increase as women are clearly underrepresented in jobs which require cognitive analytical and technical skills. In this study, we investigate whether women and men work in occupations which require different skills; and second whether these occupations are differently rewarded. We follow the task content of jobs approach, using a novel rich database on European jobs - ESCO. We combine the data with labor market information from the Structure of Earnings Survey. Our results show that women are especially overrepresented in the less paid care and teaching tasks rather than in better-paid management or teamwork tasks. Furthermore, they are least present in occupations which are rich in analytical tasks and which pay best. These results show that women are unlikely to benefit from the ongoing changes unless they undertake employment in STEM or enter management positions on a larger scale. Alternatively, women's earnings may improve in comparison to men's if care work becomes better valued.