Are Educational Differences in the Gender Earnings Gap Causal?

Steffen Andersen, Philippe d’Astous, Jimmy Martínez-Correa, Stephen H. Shore

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

University programs differ in their gender earnings gaps, that is, the difference between the subsequent earnings of the program’s male and female enrollees. A program could have a positive gender earnings gap because it attracts higher-ability men than women (a selection effect) or because it increases the earnings of male enrollees more than female enrollees (a causal
effect). To understand the source of cross-program differences in gender earnings gaps, we estimate the returns for men and women entering programs with different gender earnings gaps. We exploit a discontinuity built into the Danish national university admissions system, which provides a quasi-random assignment of similar applicants to different programs. We compare students assigned across this discontinuity to programs with low- to high-earning enrollees and to programs with small to large gender earnings gaps. Enrolling in a program whose enrollees earn $1 more leads to a $0.28 increase in earnings. Enrolling in a program with a $1 larger gender earnings gap, holding average earnings constant, has no effect on male earnings but reduces female earnings by $0.42. This effect is small when women enter the labor market but increases over time. Our results show that programs that appear worse for women – in the sense of having large gender earnings gaps – are worse for women in that these programs reduce female earnings more than programs with smaller gaps.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages64
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventAEA Annual Meeting 2020 - San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, San Diego, United States
Duration: 3 Jan 20205 Jan 2020
https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2020

Conference

ConferenceAEA Annual Meeting 2020
LocationSan Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period03/01/202005/01/2020
Internet address

Bibliographical note

CBS Library does not have access to the material

Cite this

Andersen, S., d’Astous, P., Martínez-Correa, J., & Shore, S. H. (2020). Are Educational Differences in the Gender Earnings Gap Causal?. Paper presented at AEA Annual Meeting 2020, San Diego, United States.
Andersen, Steffen ; d’Astous, Philippe ; Martínez-Correa, Jimmy ; Shore, Stephen H. / Are Educational Differences in the Gender Earnings Gap Causal?. Paper presented at AEA Annual Meeting 2020, San Diego, United States.64 p.
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Andersen, S, d’Astous, P, Martínez-Correa, J & Shore, SH 2020, 'Are Educational Differences in the Gender Earnings Gap Causal?' Paper presented at, San Diego, United States, 03/01/2020 - 05/01/2020, .

Are Educational Differences in the Gender Earnings Gap Causal? / Andersen, Steffen; d’Astous, Philippe; Martínez-Correa, Jimmy; Shore, Stephen H.

2020. Paper presented at AEA Annual Meeting 2020, San Diego, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

TY - CONF

T1 - Are Educational Differences in the Gender Earnings Gap Causal?

AU - Andersen, Steffen

AU - d’Astous, Philippe

AU - Martínez-Correa, Jimmy

AU - Shore, Stephen H.

N1 - CBS Library does not have access to the material

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - University programs differ in their gender earnings gaps, that is, the difference between the subsequent earnings of the program’s male and female enrollees. A program could have a positive gender earnings gap because it attracts higher-ability men than women (a selection effect) or because it increases the earnings of male enrollees more than female enrollees (a causal effect). To understand the source of cross-program differences in gender earnings gaps, we estimate the returns for men and women entering programs with different gender earnings gaps. We exploit a discontinuity built into the Danish national university admissions system, which provides a quasi-random assignment of similar applicants to different programs. We compare students assigned across this discontinuity to programs with low- to high-earning enrollees and to programs with small to large gender earnings gaps. Enrolling in a program whose enrollees earn $1 more leads to a $0.28 increase in earnings. Enrolling in a program with a $1 larger gender earnings gap, holding average earnings constant, has no effect on male earnings but reduces female earnings by $0.42. This effect is small when women enter the labor market but increases over time. Our results show that programs that appear worse for women – in the sense of having large gender earnings gaps – are worse for women in that these programs reduce female earnings more than programs with smaller gaps.

AB - University programs differ in their gender earnings gaps, that is, the difference between the subsequent earnings of the program’s male and female enrollees. A program could have a positive gender earnings gap because it attracts higher-ability men than women (a selection effect) or because it increases the earnings of male enrollees more than female enrollees (a causal effect). To understand the source of cross-program differences in gender earnings gaps, we estimate the returns for men and women entering programs with different gender earnings gaps. We exploit a discontinuity built into the Danish national university admissions system, which provides a quasi-random assignment of similar applicants to different programs. We compare students assigned across this discontinuity to programs with low- to high-earning enrollees and to programs with small to large gender earnings gaps. Enrolling in a program whose enrollees earn $1 more leads to a $0.28 increase in earnings. Enrolling in a program with a $1 larger gender earnings gap, holding average earnings constant, has no effect on male earnings but reduces female earnings by $0.42. This effect is small when women enter the labor market but increases over time. Our results show that programs that appear worse for women – in the sense of having large gender earnings gaps – are worse for women in that these programs reduce female earnings more than programs with smaller gaps.

M3 - Paper

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Andersen S, d’Astous P, Martínez-Correa J, Shore SH. Are Educational Differences in the Gender Earnings Gap Causal?. 2020. Paper presented at AEA Annual Meeting 2020, San Diego, United States.