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Subject of Degree and the Gender Wage Differential: Evidence from the UK and Germany

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  • Machin, Stephen

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Puhani, Patrick A.

    ()
    (Leibniz University of Hannover)

Abstract

We show that controlling for subject of degree explains a significant part of the male/female gender wage differential amongst graduates. Using data from the labour force surveys of the United Kingdom and Germany, we find similar results in these two countries: subject of degree explains about 2-4 percent higher wages of male over female graduates after controlling for age, industry, region, part-time and public sector employment. This is a significant part (between 9 to 19 percent) of the overall male/female gender wage gap, and an even larger amount of the part explained by factors entered into wage equations (at around 20 to 29 percent of the explained component).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 553.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics Letters; 2003, 79 (3), 393-400
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp553

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Keywords: field of major; gender wage gap;

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  1. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
  2. 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, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  3. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-43, May.
  4. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  5. Eric Eide, 1994. "College Major Choice And Changes In The Gender Wage Gap," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(2), pages 55-64, 04.
  6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  7. 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.
  8. Linda Datcher Loury, 1997. "The gender gap among college-educated workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 580-593, July.
  9. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-44, January.
  10. Brown, Charles & Corcoran, Mary, 1997. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 431-65, July.
  11. Barry Gerhart, 1990. "Gender differences in current and starting salaries: The role of performance, college major, and job title," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 418-433, April.
  12. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  13. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
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