NBER

Paul J. Sullivan

American University
Washington, DC
Tel: 202-691-6593
Fax: 202-691-6583

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: American University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2018Job Tasks and the Gender Wage Gap among College Graduates
with Todd R. Stinebrickner, Ralph Stinebrickner: w24790
Gender differences in current and past job tasks may be crucial for understanding the gender wage gap. We use novel task data to address well-known measurement concerns, including that standard task measures assume away within-occupation gender differences in tasks. We find that unique measures of task-specific experience, in particular high-skilled information experience, are of particular importance for understanding the substantial widening of the wage gap early in the career. Highlighting the importance of these measures, traditional work-related proxies for gender differences in human capital accumulation are not informative because general work experience is similar by gender for our recent graduates.
April 2018Beauty, Job Tasks, and Wages: A New Conclusion about Employer Taste-Based Discrimination
with Todd R. Stinebrickner, Ralph Stinebrickner: w24479
We use novel data from the Berea Panel Study to reexamine the labor market mechanisms generating the beauty wage premium. We find that the beauty premium varies widely across jobs with different task requirements. Specifically, in jobs where existing research such as Hamermesh and Biddle (1994) has posited that attractiveness is plausibly a productivity enhancing attribute—those that require substantial amounts of interpersonal interaction—a large beauty premium exists. In contrast, in jobs where attractiveness seems unlikely to truly enhance productivity—jobs that require working with information and data—there is no beauty premium. This stark variation in the beauty premium across jobs is inconsistent with the employer-based discrimination explanation for the beauty premium, because this...

Published:

November 2017Job Tasks, Time Allocation, and Wages
with Ralph Stinebrickner, Todd R. Stinebrickner: w24079
While a burgeoning literature has extolled the conceptual virtues of directly measuring the underlying job tasks that define work activities, in practice task-based approaches have been hampered by well-known data limitations. We study wage determination using data collected specifically to address these limitations. Most fundamentally, we construct the first longitudinal dataset containing job-level task information for individual workers. New quantitative task measures take advantage of unique survey questions that ask respondents to detail the amount of time spent performing People, Information, and Objects tasks at different skill levels. These measures have clear interpretations, suggest natural proxies for on-the-job human capital accumulation, and provide methodological guidance for...

Published: Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2019. "Job Tasks, Time Allocation, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, vol 37(2), pages 399-433.

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