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Jessica's paper tied for Third Place in the Best Term Paper Category at the Minnesota Economic Association meeting in October of 2012. Her advisor was Karine Moe.


With the advent of technological innovations, cognitive abilities have become increasingly valued in the workplace, while physical strength, an important requirement for manual labor, has become less important. One might expect, therefore, the gender wage gap to be lower in occupations that require more cognitive skills, as men’s comparative advantage should be lower in those industries. Using 2010 individual data from the PUMS, I test whether the gender wage gap varies by industry or occupation, grouped according to skill level. I decompose the gaps using the Oaxaca decomposition, and find that, while there is not a clear pattern of wage discrimination between the industry or occupation groups that were deemed as high-skill, the largest wage gap, and resultant level of discrimination, exists in the lowest skill group.



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