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Jiří Balcar

Abstract

The list of variables included in wage models has been extended substantially since 1974 when Mincer published his model containing years of schooling and quadratic function of potential experience. This paper provides an overview of the variables most often employed in wage equations, including results from their estimations. Education, experience, particular skills, psychological traits, beauty and health, social capital, characteristics potentially connected with discrimination, individual’s household characteristics and social, cultural and economic background the individual was exposed to during childhood and adolescence, all these are aggregated fields of interest which are discussed in detail. The paper is concluded by the outline of the probable development of research on wage determinants.

Open access

Jiří Balcar

Abstract

Psychological traits, attitudes and soft skills represent factors whose effect on an individual’s wages has begun to be examined recently. Today, there is an extensive empirical body on wage returns to the first two factors, but still a relatively small one on wage returns to soft skills, such as communication, cooperation, leadership etc. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of empirical literature on wage returns to soft skills. It suggests that soft skills are connected with significant wage returns and contribute to closing the gender wage gap. The end of the paper focuses on a discussion on methodological approaches to measurement of soft skills and relevancy of their approximation by job characteristics (incl. suggestion of using tools of competency modelling for this purpose).

Open access

Jiří Balcar, Milan Šimek and Lenka Filipová

Abstract

Finding a job is easier for people who are better equipped with soft skills, as they are more productive. Therefore, this article deals with the evaluation of soft skills of graduates from Czech public universities. The results show that the same soft skills are required from university graduates as from the population as a whole (only problem solving is more pronounced with them), but the required level of these skills is 42% higher in the case of graduates. Unfortunately, employers perceive the level of graduates’ soft skills insufficient as their level is by 16.46 to 31.15% lower than required. A more detailed analysis showed that, in terms of the development of soft skills, Czech universities provide a very homogenous service. Graduates of universities have nearly the same level of soft skills, while they can also identify similar strengths and weaknesses. These findings suggest that Czech universities should pay more attention to the systematic development of soft skills.

Open access

Jiří Balcar, Lenka Filipová and Zuzana Machová

Abstract

In this paper, we show the first descriptive evidence of factors explaining gender wage differences from a unique questionnaire survey that was carried out on a representative sample for the Czech Republic. We observe large wage differences related to gender; without any reasons, Czech women earn on average 77.80% of men’s wages. The survey uncovers that there is a number of differences among men and women which may help to explain the wage differences.