The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country

31 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2009  

Ilias Livanos

Institute for Employment Research

Kostas Pouliakas

University of Aberdeen - Business School

Abstract

This study investigates the extent to which differences in the subject of degree studied by male and female university graduates contributes to the gender pay gap, and the reasons underlying their distinct educational choices. The case of Greece is examined due to the fact that it is an EU country with historically large gender discrepancies in earnings and occupational segregation. Using micro-data from the Greek Labour Force Survey (LFS), the returns to academic disciplines are firstly estimated by gender. It is found that the subjects in which women are relatively over-represented (e.g. Education, Humanities) are also those with the lowest wage returns. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions subsequently imply that gender differences in the type of degree studied can explain an additional 8.4% of the male-female pay gap. Risk-augmented earnings functions of the Hartog-type also indicate that women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market.

Keywords: gender wage gap, subject of degree, returns, risk, Greece

JEL Classification: J16, J24, J31, J71

Suggested Citation

Livanos, Ilias and Pouliakas, Kostas, The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4636. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1526066

Ilias Livanos (Contact Author)

Institute for Employment Research ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Kostas Pouliakas

University of Aberdeen - Business School ( email )

Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3QY
United Kingdom

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