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Education, Occupation and Career Expectations: Determinants of the Gender Pay Gap for UK Graduates

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  • Arnaud Chevalier

Abstract

Despite anti-discrimination policies, women are paid 20% less then men in the UK. A large proportion of this wage gap is usually left unexplained. In this paper, I investigate whether the unexplained component is due to mis-specification. Using a sample of recent UK graduates, I examine the role of choice variables (subject of study and occupation) as well as career expectations and aspirations. The evidence indicates that women are more altruistic and less career-oriented than men. Career break expectations, for example, explain 10% of the gender wage gap in the favoured model. By omitting attitudinal variables, most studies are likely to overestimate the unexplained component of the gender wage gap. Women with a more traditional view concerning childrearing are also found to have less intensive search behaviour. Since aspirations may reflect perceived discrimination or social pressure, current legislations are unlikely to reduce the gender wage gap. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 819-842

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:69:y:2007:i:6:p:819-842

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Cited by:
  1. Mussida, Chiara & Picchio, Matteo, 2011. "The Trend over Time of the Gender Wage Gap in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 5932, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Elke Holst & Anne Busch, 2009. "Der "Gender Pay Gap" in Führungspositionen der Privatwirtschaft in Deutschland," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 169, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Nils Braakmann, 2013. "What Determines Wage Inequality Among Young German University Graduates?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 233(2), pages 130-158, March.
  4. Anne Busch & Elke Holst, 2011. "Gender-Specific Occupational Segregation, Glass Ceiling Effects, and Earnings in Managerial Positions: Results of a Fixed Effects Model," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1101, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Noe', Chiara, 2009. "Subject of degree and the gender wage gap: Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 47289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Broecke, Stijn & Hamed, Joseph, 2008. "Gender gaps in higher education participation: An analysis of the relationship between prior attainment and young participation by gender, socio-economic class and ethnicity," MPRA Paper 35595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Maria Abreu & Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann, 2011. "Migration and inter-industry mobility of UK graduates: Effect on earnings and career satisfaction," ERSA conference papers ersa11p118, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Nils Braakmann, 2008. "Fields of training, plant characteristics and the gender wage gap in entry wages among skilled workers– Evidence from German administrative data," Working Paper Series in Economics 90, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  9. Livanos, Ilias & Nunez, Imanol, 2010. "The Effect of Higher Education on Gender Wage-Gap," MPRA Paper 25487, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Cathy Remond, 2010. "Decomposing Gender Differences in College Student Earnings Expectations," Working Papers 201038, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  11. Sarah Brown & John Sessions & Karl Taylor, 2004. "What Will I Be When I Grow Up? An Analysis of Childhood Expectations and Career Outcomes," Discussion Papers in Economics 05/2, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.

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