Wage Differentials by Field of Study – The Case of German University Graduates

28 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2012

See all articles by Katja Görlitz

Katja Görlitz

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen)

Barbara S. Grave

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen)

Date Written: February 1, 2012

Abstract

Using data on German university graduates, this paper analyzes wage differentials by field of study at labor market entry and five to six years later. At both points in time, graduates from Arts and Humanities have lower average monthly wages compared to other fields of study. Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions show that these wage differentials are generated largely by different job and firm characteristics of graduates rather than individual or study-related characteristics. We also find evidence that the less favorable job and firm characteristics of Arts and Humanities graduates at labor market entry persist for (at least) the next five to six years.

Keywords: Wage decomposition, university graduates, field of study

JEL Classification: I23, J24, J31

Suggested Citation

Görlitz, Katja and Grave, Barbara S., Wage Differentials by Field of Study – The Case of German University Graduates (February 1, 2012). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 316, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2010443 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2010443

Katja Görlitz

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

Barbara S. Grave (Contact Author)

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

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