Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male/Female Wage Gap
43 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 1998 Last revised: 14 May 2000
Date Written: May 1996
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.
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