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Community college enrollment, college major, and the gender wage gap

  • Andrew M. Gill
  • Duane E. Leigh
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    The literature on the narrowing of the gender wage gap during the 1980s considers, among other factors, the closing of the male-female differential in post-secondary education. This paper looks specifically at the role played by the dramatic relative increase in women's enrollment in two-year colleges. With independent cross-sections developed using NLSY data, the authors find that the gender wage gap narrowed by 0.0469 log points between 1985 and 1990 and by 0.0932 log points between 1989 and 1994. The more pronounced decrease observed for 1989-94 is largely explained by erosion of male-female differences in weeks worked, job tenure, and full-time employment. A more novel finding is evidence that while change in the quantity of education provides essentially no explanatory power, disaggregating education by two-year and four-year providers and by major field of study accounts for 8.5-11% of the closing of the wage gap over the 1989-94 period. (Author's abstract.)

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    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 163-181

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:54:y:2000:i:1:p:163-181
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