Among Young College Graduates the Gender Pay Gap Is Tiny but Grows Significantly Thereafter

Federal-Reserve-Bank-of-New-York-logoNew research from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds that among recent college graduates men and women earn relatively the same wages. In some fields, women earn more than men. However, by the time men and women reach the 35-to-44 age bracket, the gender wage gap reappears. For college graduates ages 35 to 44, women earn only 85 percent of what men earn.

Authors Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz report that “among recent college graduates, women earn roughly 97 cents on the dollar compared with men who have the same college major and perform the same jobs.” Furthermore, in 29 of the 73 college majors analyzed in this report, young women college graduates actually earned more than men. In fields such as industrial engineering, aerospace engineering, business analytics, art history, and social services young women college graduates earned significantly more than men with similar. But the gender pay gap becomes prevalent by the time men and women reach the 35-to-44 age group.

The authors state that “there are a number of possible explanations as to why the gender pay gap is fairly small for recent college graduates, but grows for mid-career workers. First, to the extent that male earnings premiums represent discrimination against women, it is possible that such discrimination becomes more widespread as men and women approach mid-career. Another possibility is that pay differences arise for reasons related to raising a family. When we look at the outcomes of young college graduates, this group primarily contains single people without children, while the mid-career group includes a significant number of men and women with children. Women are more likely than men to spend time out of the labor force to bear and raise children.”

The research, “When Women Out-Earn Men,” was published on the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It can be viewed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply