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College Major Choice And Changes In The Gender Wage Gap

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  • ERIC EIDE

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.

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  • Eric Eide, 1994. "College Major Choice And Changes In The Gender Wage Gap," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(2), pages 55-64, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:12:y:1994:i:2:p:55-64
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.1994.tb00423.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Noe', Chiara, 2009. "Subject of degree and the gender wage gap: Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 47289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jessica L. Baraka, 1999. "Does Type of Degree Explain Taiwan's Gender Gap?," Working Papers 220, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    3. Machin, Stephen & Puhani, Patrick A., 2003. "Subject of degree and the gender wage differential: evidence from the UK and Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 393-400, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Livanos, Ilias & Pouliakas, Konstantinos, 2009. "The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country," IZA Discussion Papers 4636, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Christiansen, Charlotte & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2002. "The Educational Asset Market: A Finance Perspective on Human Capital Investment," Working Papers 02-10, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    7. Michael R. Strain & Douglas A. Webber, 2017. "High school experiences, the gender wage gap, and the selection of occupation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(49), pages 5040-5049, October.
    8. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    9. Brahim Boudarbat & Marie Connolly, 2013. "The gender wage gap among recent postsecondary graduates in Canada: a distributional approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 1037-1065, August.
    10. Castagnetti, Carolina & Rosti, Luisa, 2010. "Gender stereotyping and wage discrimination among Italian graduates," MPRA Paper 26685, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Sergey Roshchin & Victor Rudakov, 2015. "Do Starting Salaries for Graduates Measure the Quality of Education? A Review of Studies by Russian and Foreign Authors," Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, National Research University Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 137-181.
    12. Caviris, Nicole Stefanie, 2014. "Educational attainment, college major choice, the gender wage gap, and average starting salaries of college graduates in the United States, 1967-2011," ISU General Staff Papers 201401010800004865, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    13. Judith A. McDonald & Robert J. Thornton, 2007. "Do New Male and Female College Graduates Receive Unequal Pay?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
    14. Fernando Saltiel, 2019. "What's Math Got to Do With It? Multidimensional Ability and the Gender Gap in STEM," 2019 Meeting Papers 1201, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. 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, March.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Ahu Gemici & Matthew Wiswall, 2014. "Evolution Of Gender Differences In Post‐Secondary Human Capital Investments: College Majors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(1), pages 23-56, February.
    19. Jiang, Xuan, 2021. "Women in STEM: Ability, preference, and value," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    20. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.

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