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College Major Choice And Changes In The Gender Wage Gap

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  • ERIC EIDE
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    Abstract

    The distribution of college majors changed markedly between the 1970s and 1980s as fewer students completed degrees in low-skill fields such as education and letters and more graduated in high-skill fields such as engineering and business. This shift was most dramatic for females, who previously were concentrated in low-skill fields relative to those of males. This paper examines how this education-related skill upgrade, as represented by changes in the major distribution, affected the gender wage gap for college graduates during the 1980s. The results show that convergence in major distribution between males and females contributed to a decline in the gender wage gap for college graduates. Copyright 1994 Western Economic Association International.

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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7287.1994.tb00423.x
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

    Volume (Year): 12 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 2 (04)
    Pages: 55-64

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:12:y:1994:i:2:p:55-64

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    Cited by:
    1. Machin, Stephen & Puhani, Patrick A., 2002. "Subject of Degree and the Gender Wage Differential: Evidence from the UK and Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 553, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Del Rossi, Alison F. & Hersch, Joni, 2008. "Double your major, double your return?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 375-386, August.
    3. Christiansen, Charlotte & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2003. "The Educational Asset Market: A Finance Perspective on Human Capital Investment," Finance Working Papers 02-9, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Daša Farcnik & Polona Domadenik, 2012. "Has the Bologna reform enhanced the employability of graduates? Early evidence from Slovenia," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 51-75, June.
    5. Carolina Castagnetti & Luisa Rosti, 2010. "Gender stereotyping and wage discrimination among Italian graduates," Quaderni di Dipartimento 122, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
    6. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2009. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 14959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
    8. Lin, Eric S., 2010. "Gender wage gaps by college major in Taiwan: Empirical evidence from the 1997-2003 Manpower Utilization Survey," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 156-164, February.
    9. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Livanos, Ilias, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in Greece," MPRA Paper 14168, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Mar 2009.
    10. Noe', Chiara, 2009. "Subject of degree and the gender wage gap: Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 47289, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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