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Educational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap for Recent College Graduates in Colombia

  • Laura Cepeda Emiliani


  • Juan D. Barón


In this paper we show the importance of subject of degree in explaining the gender wage gap in Colombia. In order to minimize the influence of gender differences in experience, promotions, and job changes on the wage gap, we focus on college graduates who have a formal job and who have been in the labor market at most one year. Using unique, administrative datasets with detailed subjects of degree, we find that the wage gap against women is on average 11% and that 40% of it can be explained by differences in subject of degree. Using a distributional decomposition, we find an increasing gender wage gap across the distribution of wages (from 2% at the bottom to 15% at the top), although subject of degree explains a lower 30% of the gap at the top. Policies designed to reduce the gender wage gap need to address the differing gender educational choices and the factors that influence them. These policies would be more effective in reducing the gap for median wage earners.

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Paper provided by BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA in its series BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA with number 009382.

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Length: 14
Date of creation: 06 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000094:009382
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  1. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 163-186, January.
  2. Chevalier, Arnaud, 2004. "Motivation, Expectations and the Gender Pay Gap for UK Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 1101, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. Alejandro Hoyos & Hugo Ñopo & Ximena Peña, 2010. "The Persistent Gender Earnings Gap in Colombia, 1994-2006," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007094, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  5. Barón, Juan D. & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2008. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 3562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. SErgio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Textos para discussão 533, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  7. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Hugo Ñopo, 2008. "Matching as a Tool to Decompose Wage Gaps," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 290-299, May.
  9. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
  10. 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).
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