Paper: “Returns to Fields of Study and the Gender Earnings Gap”
Abstract: This paper studies the interplay between preferences, gender return differentials, and market design in explaining the gender earnings gap. Information on preferences—embedded in the rank-ordered lists submitted when applying to college through a centralized admissions system—allows us to estimate the returns to fields of study and comparative advantage while accounting for selection bias. We find that comparative advantage matters but that most of the within-major earnings gap is due to differences in labor market returns for men and women majoring in the same fields. A counterfactual analysis that leverages the rules embedded in the centralized assignment system suggests that even slight gender-specific quotas may effectively reduce the gender earnings gap among college graduates.
14:00 a 16:00
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