Ronald L. Oaxaca is McClelland Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Arizona. He has taught at the University of Arizona since 1976. Oaxaca received his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 1971. He taught at the University of Western Ontario (1971-1973) and at the University of Massachusetts (1973-1976). He has held visiting positions at Smith College (1975), Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University (1982), Stanford University Graduate School of Business (1983-84), University of California ­ Santa Cruz (1997), and the Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, University of Aarhus, Denmark (1997).

His research spans the areas of labor market discrimination, experimental economics, and econometrics. Oaxaca has published on a variety of topics including gender wage differentials, unemployment insurance, minimum wages, laboratory tests of job search models, laboratory evaluation of econometric estimators of structural demand and supply models, science and engineering demand and supply, and identification problems in detailed wage decompositions.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in August 2001.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10530

Probit and logit models typically require a normalization on the error variance for model identification. This paper shows that in the context of sample mean probability decompositions, error variance normalizations preclude estimation of the effects of group differences in the latent variable model parameters. An empirical example is provided for...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10157

This paper analyzes wage decomposition methodology in the context of panel data sample selection embedded in a correlated random effects setting. Identification issues unique to panel data are examined for their implications for wage decompositions. As an empirical example, we apply our methodology to German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) data with...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10132

In addition to discrimination, market power, and human capital, gender differences in risk preferences might also contribute to observed gender wage gaps. We conduct laboratory experiments in which subjects choose between a risky (in terms of exposure to unemployment) and a secure job after being assigned in early rounds to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7001
published in: Journal of Economic Inequality, 2014, 12(3), 315-338.

Our study evaluates and extends existing wage decomposition methodologies that seek to measure the contributions of endowments, pure wage discrimination, and job segregation. Of particular interest is the model of hierarchical segregation in Baldwin, Butler, and Johnson (2001). We employ data from a regional supermarket that faced a Title VII...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2870
revised version published as 'Race and Gender Differences under Federal Sentencing Guidelines' in: American Economic Review , 2012, 102 (3), 256–260.

The Federal criminal sentencing guidelines struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 required that males and females who commit the same crime and have the same prior criminal record be sentenced equally. Using data obtained from the United States Sentencing Commission’s records, we examine whether there exists any...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2305
published in: Southern Economic Journal, 2009, 76 (1), 16-31

Statistical discrimination occurs when distinctions between demographic groups are made on the basis of real or imagined statistical distinctions between the groups. While such discrimination is legal in some cases (e.g., insurance markets), it is illegal and/or controversial in others (e.g., racial profiling and gender-based labor market discrimination). “First-moment” statistical...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1927
published in: Economic Inquiry, 2007, 45 (4), 721-738

This paper develops a theoretical model of optimal schooling levels where ability and family background are the central explanatory variables. We derive schooling demand and supply functions based on individual wealth maximization. Using NLSY79 data we stratify our sample into one-year "FTE" work experience cohorts for 1985-1989. Mincer's (1974) "overtaking"...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1920
published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2009, 22 (2), 463 - 499

We address the bias from using potential vs. actual experience in earnings models. Statistical tests reject the classical errors-in-variable framework. The nature of the measurement error is best viewed as a model misspecification problem. We correct for this by modeling actual experience as a stochastic regressor and predicting experience using...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1915
Francesco Renna, Ronald L. Oaxaca

In this paper we develop a job portfolio model of dual job holding based on a Stone-Geary utility function. We derive the associated Slutsky equation components. Because the job portfolio model applies only to unconstrained dual jobholders, we separate individuals who moonlight because of an hours constraint from dual jobholders...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1870
published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2010, 28(2), 267-289

We use a simple framework, adopted from general equilibrium search models, to estimate the extent to which monopsony power (or labor market frictions) can account for gender differences in pay, using data from a chain of regional grocery stores. In this framework, the elasticity of labor supply to the firm...