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Occupational Skill Mismatch: Differences by Gender and Cohort

Addison, J.T.; Chen, Liwen; Ozturk, Orgul D.

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Liwen Chen

Orgul D. Ozturk


The authors deploy a measure of occupational mismatch based on the discrepancy between the portfolio of skills required by an occupation and the array of abilities possessed by the worker for learning those skills. Using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79 and NLSY97), they report distinct gender differences in match quality and changes in match quality over the course of careers. They also show that a substantial portion of the gender wage gap stems from match quality differences among the college educated. College-educated females show a significantly greater likelihood of mismatch than do males. Moreover, individuals with children and those in more flexible occupations tend to experience a larger degree of mismatch. Cohort effects are also evident in the data: College-educated males of the younger cohort (NLSY97) are worse off in terms of match quality compared to the older cohort (NLSY79), even as the younger cohort of women is doing better on average.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 11, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 16, 2019
Publication Date May 31, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2018
Journal Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Print ISSN 0019-7939
Electronic ISSN 2162-271X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 73
Issue 3
Pages 730-767
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (1.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Addison, J.T., Chen, Liwen & Ozturk, Orgul D. (2020). Occupational Skill Mismatch: Differences by Gender and Cohort. ILR Review 73(3): 730-767. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.

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