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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Chevalier, 2007. "Education, Occupation and Career Expectations: Determinants of the Gender Pay Gap for UK Graduates," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(6), pages 819-842, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:69:y:2007:i:6:p:819-842
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Karen Mumford & Peter N Smith, "undated". "The Gender Earnings Gap in Britain," Discussion Papers 04/05, Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Busch, Anne & Holst, Elke, 2011. "Gender-Specific Occupational Segregation, Glass Ceiling Effects, and Earnings in Managerial Positions: Results of a Fixed Effects Model," IZA Discussion Papers 5448, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:ilo:ilowps:487376 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mirco Tonin & Jackline Wahba, 2015. "The Sources of the Gender Gap in Economics Enrolment," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(1), pages 72-94.
    4. Livanos, Ilias & Nunez, Imanol, 2010. "The Effect of Higher Education on Gender Wage-Gap," MPRA Paper 25487, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Chiara Mussida & Matteo Picchio, 2014. "The trend over time of the gender wage gap in Italy," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 1081-1110, May.
    6. Brown, Sarah & Ortiz-Nuñez, Aurora & Taylor, Karl, 2011. "What will I be when I grow up? An analysis of childhood expectations and career outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 493-506, June.
    7. Abrar ul haq, Muhammad & Mehtab, Nadia & Khan, Tasneem, 2012. "Gender Disparity in Economic Returns to Higher Education: Evidence from Private Formal Sector of Bahawalpur (Pakistan)," MPRA Paper 62958, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2012.
    8. Sunil Mitra Kumar, 2016. "Why does caste still influence access to agricultural credit?," WIDER Working Paper Series 086, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Braakmann Nils, 2013. "What Determines Wage Inequality Among Young German University Graduates?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(2), pages 130-158, April.
    10. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0621-z is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Noe', Chiara, 2009. "Subject of degree and the gender wage gap: Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 47289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. 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).
    13. Braakmann Nils, 2010. "Fields of Training, Plant Characteristics and the Gender Wage Gap in Entry Wages Among Skilled Workers – Evidence from German Administrative Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(1), pages 27-41, February.
    14. César Alonso-Borrego & Antonio Romero-Medina, 2016. "Wage Expectations for Higher Education Students in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 30(1), pages 1-17, March.
    15. 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.
    16. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Cathy Remond, 2010. "Decomposing Gender Differences in College Student Earnings Expectations," Working Papers 201038, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    17. Francesco Pastore, 2016. "‘I Wish I Had 100 Dollars a Month …’ The Determinants of Poverty in Mongolia," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 28(5), pages 934-956, November.
    18. Vasilios D. Kosteas, 2013. "Gender Role Attitudes, Labor Supply, and Human Capital Formation," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 915-940, October.
    19. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1130-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Alexander Plum, 2014. "The British Low-Wage Sector and the Employment Prospects of the Unemployed," FEMM Working Papers 140004, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    21. Grimshaw, Damian. & Rubery, Jill., 2015. "The motherhood pay gap : a review of the issues, theory and international evidence," ILO Working Papers 994873763402676, International Labour Organization.
    22. 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.
    23. Wayne A. Grove & Andrew Hussey & Michael Jetter, 2011. "The Gender Pay Gap Beyond Human Capital: Heterogeneity in Noncognitive Skills and in Labor Market Tastes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 827-874.
    24. Scott Adams & John Heywood & Laurie Miller, 2014. "Caregivers, firm policies and gender discrimination claims," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 359-377, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J29 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Other
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

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