The Huge Gender Pay Gap for College Graduates in Their Mid-40s

A new study by four scholars published in the Harvard Business Review finds that male college graduates in the mid-40s earn on average 55 percent more than women college graduates of the same age.

The authors tracked the quarterly earnings of men and women college graduates between 1995 and 2008. They found that at the start of their careers after college, the earnings gap was very small. But as these graduates reached their mid-40s the gender gap became huge and was much greater than the overall gender pay gap in the United States.

The data also showed that when men and women stay at the same company, men tend to be promoted and earn higher wages. The statistics also showed that men were more likely than women to switch companies in pursuit of better paying opportunities.

The authors found that the largest gender pay gaps for college graduates in their mid-40s were in health, law, insurance, finance, and real estate. The gender pay gap was smaller in high-tech companies.

Among the authors of the study are Claudia Goldin, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Sari Pekkala Kerr, a senior research scientist at Wellesley Centers for Women, and Claudia Olivetti a professor of economics at Boston College.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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