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Getting What (Employers Think) You’re Worth – Evidence on the Gender Gap in Entry Wages among University Graduates

  • Julia Bredtmann


  • Sebastian Otten

Since the early 1970s, wage differentials between men and women have attracted the research interest of labor economists. However, up to now empirical evidence on gender differentials of labor market entrants and the determinants of their starting wages is scarce. To fi ll this gap, we make use of a unique dataset on graduates in economics from a large representative German university, to investigate whether – even for such a homogeneous group of labor market entrants – a gender gap in earnings exists. Concentrating on a highly homogeneous sample limits the problem of unobserved heterogeneity, which results in an overestimation of the unexplained component of standard decompositions analyses. The results reveal that women’s entry wages are significant lower than those of their male counterparts. Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions suggest that the major part of this gap remains unexplained by gender differences in observable characteristics.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0218.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0218
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  1. Hugo Nopo, 2003. "Matching as a Tool to Decompose Wage Gaps," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0406, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0200 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. Bachmann, Ronald & Bauer, Thomas K. & David, Peggy, 2010. "Labour Market Entry Conditions, Wages and Job Mobility," Ruhr Economic Papers 188, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  6. Julia Bredtmann, 2014. "The Intra-household Division of Labor: An Empirical Analysis of Spousal Influences on Individual Time Allocation," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(1), pages 1-39, 03.
  7. 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.
  8. repec:zbw:rwirep:0188 is not listed on IDEAS
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