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Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap

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  • Brown, Charles
  • Corcoran, Mary

Abstract

In high school and college, men and women take significantly different courses. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the National Longitudinal Study class of 1972, the authors relate these differences in school content to sex differences in adult wages. Differences in field of highest degree account for a significant part of the male-female wage gap among college graduates, but differences in coursework account for little of the equally large wage gap between men and women with less schooling. Among college graduates, there is some evidence that the reward for taking male majors is larger for men. Copyright 1997 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 431-65

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:15:y:1997:i:3:p:431-65

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "School Quality and Black/White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," Working Papers 652, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  4. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Reuben Gronau, 1982. "Sex-Related Wage Differentials and Women's Interrupted Labor Careers--The Chicken or the Egg," NBER Working Papers 1002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  7. Elaine Sorensen, 1990. "The Crowding Hypothesis and Comparable Worth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 55-89.
  8. F. L. Jones, 1983. "On Decomposing the Wage Gap: A Critical Comment on Blinder's Method," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 126-130.
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  10. Blakemore, Arthur E & Low, Stuart A, 1984. "Sex Differences in Occupational Selection: The Case of College Majors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 157-63, February.
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  12. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-44, January.
  14. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
  15. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
  16. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1978. "An Exchange: The Theory of Human Capital and the Earnings of Women: Women's Earnings Reexamined," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 13(1), pages 118-134.
  17. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
  18. Solomon William Polachek, 1978. "Sex differences in college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 31(4), pages 498-508, July.
  19. Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1985. "Sex Role Socialization and Labor Market Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 275-78, May.
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