Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male/Female Wage Gap

43 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 1998 Last revised: 14 May 2000

See all articles by Charles Brown

Charles Brown

University of Michigan; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Mary Corcoran

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Date Written: May 1996

Abstract

In high school and in college, men and women take significantly different courses. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the National Longitudinal Study Class of 1972, we relate these differences in school content to sex differences in adult wages. Differences in field of highest degree account for a significant part of the male-female wage gap among college graduates, but differences in coursework account for very little of the equally large wage gap between men and women with less schooling. We find little consistent evidence that men receive larger rewards for taking traditionally male rather than traditionally female courses and majors, though there is some indication of this for college graduates.

Suggested Citation

Brown, Charles C. and Corcoran, Mary E., Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male/Female Wage Gap (May 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5580. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3252

Charles C. Brown (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mary E. Corcoran

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-764-9517 (Phone)

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