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On the distribution of job characteristics: an analysis of the DOT data

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We analyse the information in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles to characterize the structure of labour demand. Two dimensions, an intellectual factor and a dexterity factor, capture two-thirds of the variance in job requirements; the remaining (co-)variance cannot be easily structured. Simple linear relationships go a long way in describing the matching between job activities and required worker qualities (Intellect for complex relations to Data and to People, Dexterity for complex relations to Things). There is no dichotomy between mathematical and verbal required skills. Poor working conditions are not restricted to workers in low-level jobs; we find strong support for compensating wage differentials. At more intellectual jobs, men receive less wage compensation for working conditions, while in jobs requiring greater dexterity they receive more. Such a relationship is absent for women.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, University of Texas, Dallas, TX, USA 2: Department of Economics, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1018 WB, Netherlands

Publication date: 01 May 2010

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