Educational Attainment and the Gender Wage Gap: A Comparison of Young Men and Women in 1984 and 2007
This study pools data from two sources to investigate the role of educational attainment in determining the gender wage gap. The empirical analysis reveals that the returns to education remained largely unchanged for young men but declined significantly for young women over the period 1984–2007. We find significant evidence of a decline in the returns to a Bachelor's degree for young women as well as evidence of increasing wage inequality over time among young men and women with a Bachelor's degree. Also, in 2007, the gender wage gap between young men and women was largest for those with a Bachelor's degree. Further, our analysis suggests that young women with a college education may confront more discrimination in the labor market than young women without a college education. We conclude that promoting educational attainment among young women may be a necessary but not sufficient condition for addressing the gender wage gap.
Forum for Social Economics
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)