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Evolution of the gender earnings gap among Canadian university graduates

  • Ross Finnie
  • Ted Wannell

This paper reports the results of an empirical analysis of the gender earnings gap among recent Canadian Bachelor's level university graduates. The overall gap as of two years leaving university narrowed significantly across successive cohorts of graduates, but widened significantly from two to five years out for all groups. Differences in the explanatory variables 'explain' account for between 40% and essentially the entire gap across the different periods, this portion rising from two to five years out and across cohorts. By the final group, all of the gap is thus 'explained' at the two-year point in time, and most of it is explained at the five-year mark, meaning that labour market returns (measured in this manner) are largely gender-neutral for the last group of graduates. Hours of work is the single most important influence, while past work experience, job characteristics, family status, and province of residence and language have smaller and more mixed effects.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2004)
Issue (Month): 17 ()
Pages: 1967-1978

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:36:y:2004:i:17:p:1967-1978
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  1. Kevin Reilly & Tony Wirjanto, 1999. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Females at the Establishment Level," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 906-929, August.
  2. Michael P. Kidd & Michael Shannon, 1994. "An Update and Extension of the Canadian Evidence on Gender Wage Differentials," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(4), pages 918-38, November.
  3. Kevin T. Reilly & Tony S. Wirjanto, 2004. "The Proportion of Females in the Establishment: Discrimination, Preferences and Technology," Labor and Demography 0407002, EconWPA.
  4. Michael P. Kidd & Michael Shannon, 1996. "The gender wage gap: A comparison of Australia and Canada," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(4), pages 729-746, July.
  5. Peter Dolton & Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman, 1996. "Gender Differences in the Changing Labor Market: The Role of Legislation and Inequality in Changing the Wage Gap for Qualified Workers in the United Kingdom," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 549-565.
  6. Denise J. Doiron & W. Craig Riddell, 1994. "The Impact of Unionization on Male-Female Earnings Differences in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 504-534.
  7. Louis N. Christofides & Robert Swidinsky, 1994. "Wage Determination by Gender and Visible Minority Status: Evidence from the 1989 LMAS," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 20(1), pages 34-51, March.
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