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Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings


  • Thomas N. Daymonti
  • Paul J. Andrisani


Work preferences and preparation (college major) are included in an analysis of the gender differential in earnings among recent college graduates, using data from the National Longitudinal Studies of the High School Class of 1972. The results indicate a tendency for the young men and young women in the sample to prefer different occupational roles and to major in different fields of study in college. Together, these differences account for about one-third to two-thirds of the gender gap in hourly earnings three years after college graduation. This indicates that omission of work preferences and college major leads to an overestimation of the degree of current labor market discrimination against young female college graduates.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:19:y:1984:i:3:p:408-428

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth A. Couch & Thomas A. Dunn, 1997. "Intergenerational Correlations in Labor Market Status: A Comparison of the United States and Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 210-232.
    2. Nancy A. Jianakoplos & Paul L. Menchik, 1997. "Wealth Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 18-31, February.
    3. Gottschalk, Peter, 1996. "Is the correlation in welfare participation across generations spurious?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-25, December.
    4. Mary Corcoran & Roger Gordon & Deborah Laren & Gary Solon, 1992. "The Association between Men's Economic Status and Their Family and Community Origins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(4), pages 575-601.
    5. Menchik, Paul L, 1979. "Inter-generational Transmission of Inequality: An Empirical Study of Wealth Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 46(184), pages 349-362, November.
    6. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    7. Colin Cameron, A. & Windmeijer, Frank A. G., 1997. "An R-squared measure of goodness of fit for some common nonlinear regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 329-342, April.
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