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Non scholae, sed vitae discimus! - The importance of fields of study for the gender wage gap among German university graduates during labor market entry and the first years of their careers

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  • Nils Braakmann

    () (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

Abstract

This paper investigates the gender wage gap among German university graduates in their first job and five to six years into their careers. We find that women earn about 30% less than men at their first job and about 35% less after five to six years. Results from standard decomposition techniques show that 80% of the earnings gap in the first job can be attributed to differences in endowment of which between 74 and 78% are related to different fields of studies. Adding employer information leads to an explained share of about 90% of the earnings gap with fields of study still accounting for about half of the gap. These also play a dominant role in a model without employer information after five to six years, directly explaining between 26 and 33% of the earnings gap. Adding employer information, however, leads to insignificant results. Together with detailed information on experiences after graduation, these variables account for about 44 to 50% of the earnings gap later in the graduates careers.

Suggested Citation

  • Nils Braakmann, 2008. "Non scholae, sed vitae discimus! - The importance of fields of study for the gender wage gap among German university graduates during labor market entry and the first years of their careers," Working Paper Series in Economics 85, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:85
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Formby, John P & Gunther, William D & Sakano, Ryoichi, 1993. "Entry Level Salaries of Academic Economists: Does Gender or Age Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 128-138, January.
    3. Brown, Charles & Corcoran, Mary, 1997. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 431-465, July.
    4. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 479-511, July.
    5. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    6. Barry Gerhart, 1990. "Gender Differences in Current and Starting Salaries: The Role of Performance, College Major, and Job Title," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 418-433, July.
    7. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    8. Dolton, P J & Makepeace, G H, 1986. "Sample Selection and Male-Female Earnings Differentials in the Graduate Labour Market," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 317-341, July.
    9. Napari, Sami, 2006. "The early career gender wage gap," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19844, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Sami Napari, 2006. "The Early Career Gender Wage Gap," CEP Discussion Papers dp0738, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0218 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Katja Görlitz & Barbara S. Grave, 2012. "Wage Differentials by Field of Study – The Case of German University Graduates," Ruhr Economic Papers 0316, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0316 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Julia Bredtmann & Sebastian Otten, 2014. "Getting what (employers think) you’re worth: Evidence on the gender gap in entry wages among university graduates," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 291-305, May.
    5. Barbara S. Grave & Katja Goerlitz, 2012. "Wage differentials by field of study -- the case of German university graduates," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 284-302, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender wage gap; decomposition; field of study;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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