Salaries of Recent Male and Female College Graduates: Educational and Labor Market Effects
Why do recent male college graduates earn more than their female counterparts? The author explores this question by estimating several salary regressions using data from the 1993–94 NCES Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study. The results suggest that labor market variables outweighed academic variables in their contribution to the gender salary gap. Of the academic variables, gender differences in total credits accounted for more of the salary gap than did gender differences in majors, grades, or institution attended. Of the labor market variables, gender differences in job sector, industry, and hours worked had the largest effect on gender differences in salaries. Differences in how men and women searched for and selected first jobs appear to have had little impact on gender differences in salary. Most important, as much as 75% of the wage gap remains unexplained by both the academic and labor market variables.