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Does science discriminate against women? Evidence from academia, 1973–97

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  • Donna K. Ginther
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    Abstract

    This study uses data from the Survey of Doctorate Recipients to evaluate differences in employment outcomes for academic scientists by gender. A decomposition of estimated salary differences shows that over time, gender salary differences can partly be explained by differences in observable characteristics for faculty at the assistant and associate ranks. Substantial gender salary differences for full professors are not explained by observable characteristics. Probit and duration model estimates indicate gender differences in the probability of promotion, making it less likely for women to be promoted to tenure. Between 1973 and 1997, very little changed in terms of gender salary and promotion differences for academics in science. After evaluating potential explanations, the author concludes that gender discrimination similar to that observed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology accounts for unexplained gender disparities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2001-2.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2001-2

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    Keywords: Discrimination in employment ; Labor market;

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    1. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
    2. Preston, Anne E, 1994. "Why Have All the Women Gone? A Study of Exit of Women from the Science and Engineering Professions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1446-62, December.
    3. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    4. Kahn, Shulamit, 1993. "Gender Differences in Academic Career Paths of Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 52-56, May.
    5. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1999. "Asymptotic Properties of Weighted M-Estimators for Variable Probability Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1385-1406, November.
    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. Ransom, Michael R. & Megdal, Sharon Bernstein, 1993. "Sex differences in the academic labor market in the affirmative action era," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 21-43, March.
    8. Ransom, Michael R, 1993. "Seniority and Monopsony in the Academic Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 221-33, March.
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