Patricia Cortes (Questrom School of Business, Boston University)

“Who Does What: The Contribution of Automation to Reducing Occupational Segregation by Gender”

Presenta: Patricia Cortes (Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy and Law, Questrom School of Business, Boston University).


Abstract: Occupational segregation by gender, although still sizable, has decreased significantly over the last few decades. In this paper, we explore the role of automation in the changing occupational distributions of men and women.  We start by documenting two facts: (1) in 1980, women were much more likely than men to be in occupations with a high risk of automation, and (2) the cross-occupational relationship between risk of automation in 1980 and the change in worker share between 1980 and 2017, though negative for both genders, is much steeper for women. Taken together, these two facts suggest that women were more likely to be displaced by automation. We then exploit cross-commuting zone variation in the share working in a high automation risk occupation to show that women, for a given shock in the risk of automation, were much more likely than men to switch occupations, particularly to those requiring higher levels of skill. The net effect is that local labor markets that were more affected by automation also experienced greater occupational integration across gender. We hypothesize and provide evidence suggesting that women adapted more effectively to automation due to the growing demand for social skills that favored women and their greater ability to upskill.


Datos del Seminario

Fecha de inicio:
01 de Septiembre, 2020 | 14:00 hrs.

Fecha de término
01 de Septiembre, 2020 | 15:00 hrs.