Distribution Regression with Selection, with an Application to Wage Decompositions in the UK



This model is a semi-parametric generalization of Heckman selection model that accommodates much rich patterns of heterogeneity in the selection process and effect of the covariates. The model applies  to continuous, discrete and mixed outcomes.  We study the identification of the model, and  develop a computationally attractive two-step method to estimate the model parameters, where the first step is a probit regression for the selection equation and the second step consists of multiple distribution regressions with selection corrections for the outcome equation. We construct estimators of functionals of interest such as actual and counterfactual distributions of latent and observed outcomes via plug-in rule. We derive functional central limit theorems for all the estimators and show the validity of  multiplier bootstrap to carry out functional inference.  We apply the methods to wage decompositions in the UK using new data. Here we  decompose the difference between the male and female wage distributions into four effects: composition, wage structure,  selection structure and selection sorting. We uncover positive sorting for single men and negative sorting  for married women that accounts for a substantial fraction of the gender wage gap at the top of the distribution. These findings can be interpreted as evidence of assortative mating in the marriage market and glass-ceiling in the labor market.

(joint with Victor Chernozhukov and Siyi Luo)

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