The Labor Market Returns to Unobserved Skills: Evidence from a Gender Quota
Economics & Econometrics Seminar Series with
Dr. Safoura Moeeni, University of Regina
Friday, March 24, 2023
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Room 307 Tier Building
All are welcome. No registration required.
We estimate the effects of unobserved skills on labor market outcomes by investigating a change in the distribution of unobserved skills. Among people with the same levels of observed skills such as education and work experience, there are still disparities in labor market outcomes. To explain the disparities and find the effect of unobserved skills, we exploit a discontinuity generated by the 2012 education policy in Iran. This policy restricting female students in specific college majors changes the size and skill distribution of the pool of high school graduates workers. We find three main findings. First, the education quota lowers women's college attendance. Second, young high school graduate women are more likely to participate in the labor market and have a job. Third, the gender wage gap decreases among high school workers due to both within and between occupation changes treated women are paid more and they take up higher paying middle skilled positions that used to be non-traditional occupations for them.