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The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country


  • Livanos, Ilias

    () (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop))

  • Pouliakas, Konstantinos

    () (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop))


This study investigates the extent to which differences in the subject of degree studied by male and female university graduates contributes to the gender pay gap, and the reasons underlying their distinct educational choices. The case of Greece is examined due to the fact that it is an EU country with historically large gender discrepancies in earnings and occupational segregation. Using micro-data from the Greek Labour Force Survey (LFS), the returns to academic disciplines are firstly estimated by gender. It is found that the subjects in which women are relatively over-represented (e.g. Education, Humanities) are also those with the lowest wage returns. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions subsequently imply that gender differences in the type of degree studied can explain an additional 8.4% of the male-female pay gap. Risk-augmented earnings functions of the Hartog-type also indicate that women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market.

Suggested Citation

  • Livanos, Ilias & Pouliakas, Konstantinos, 2009. "The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country," IZA Discussion Papers 4636, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4636

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:iaecre:v:19:y:2013:i:4:p:331-354 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dorota Witkowska, 2013. "Gender Disparities in the Labor Market in the EU," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 19(4), pages 331-354, November.

    More about this item


    returns; subject of degree; gender wage gap; risk; Greece;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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