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The Gender Gap Reloaded: Is School Quality Linked to Labor Market Performance?

  • Konstantopoulos, Spyros


    (Michigan State University)

  • Constant, Amelie F.


    (George Washington University, Temple University)

This study examines the gender gap in wages of young adults in the late 1970s, mid 1980s, and 2000, in the middle and the tails of the wage distribution using quantile regression. We also examine the importance of school quality indicators in predicting future labor market performance. We conduct analyses for three major racial groups in the US: Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. We employ base year and follow up data from two rich longitudinal studies: the National Longitudinal Study (NLS) of high school seniors in 1972 and the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) of eighth graders in 1988. Our results indicate that school quality is an important predictor of and positively associated to future wages for Whites, but it is less so for the two minority groups. We confirm significant gender disparities in wages favoring men across three surveys in the 1970s, 1980s, and 2000 that are unaccounted for. While the unexplained gender gap is evident across the entire wage distribution, it is more pronounced for Whites and less pronounced for Blacks and Hispanics. Overall, the gender gap in wages is more pronounced in higher paid jobs (top 10 percent) for all groups, indicating the presence of a n alarming "glass ceiling."

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1830.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1830
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  1. Albrecht, James & van Vuuren, Aico & Vroman, Susan, 2004. "Decomposing the Gender Wage Gap in the Netherlands with Sample Selection Adjustments," IZA Discussion Papers 1400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  3. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 1999. "Analyzing the gender pay gap," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 625-646.
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  9. Carnoy, Martin, 1996. "Education and racial inequality: The human capital explanation revisited," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 259-272, June.
  10. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 231-53, April.
  11. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  12. De la Rica Goiricelaya, Sara & Dolado, Juan J. & Llorens, Vanessa, 2005. "Ceilings and Floors? Gender Wage Gaps by Education in Spain," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  13. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "The Gender gap in top corporate jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
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  15. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  16. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
  18. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  19. Javier Gardeazabal & Arantza Ugidos, 2005. "Gender wage discrimination at quantiles," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 165-179, 07.
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