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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. James Albrecht & Aico van Vuuren & Susan Vroman, 2004. "Decomposing the Gender Wage Gap in the Netherlands with Sample Selection Adjustments," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-123/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Javier Gardeazabal & Arantza Ugidos, 2005. "Gender wage discrimination at quantiles," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 165-179, 07.
  3. de la Rica, Sara & Dolado, Juan J. & Llorens, Vanesa, 2005. "Ceiling and Floors: Gender Wage Gaps by Education in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1483, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  5. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  10. 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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  15. O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 25-45, Fall.
  16. Schoeni, R.F., 1996. "Marital Status and Earnings in Developed Countries," Papers 96-14, RAND - Reprint Series.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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