Sunday, August 9, 2009

College Major Playing Bigger Role in Gender Wage Gap

Don't blame discrimination in favor of men for college educated men having higher salaries than college educated women.

While higher education has helped women narrow their long-running wage gap with men, there is one college-related factor that has becoming increasingly important in perpetuating that gap.

And that factor is college major.

Women are still segregated into college majors that will lead them to careers with less pay than men, according to new research by Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University at Marion.

“Gender segregation in college is becoming more influential in how men and women are rewarded later in life,” Bobbitt-Zeher said.

Bobbitt-Zeher presented her research here in San Francisco today at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, which I am attending.

"Most of integration has come from women making different choices, rather than men moving into traditionally female fields,” Bobbitt-Zeher said.

Bobbitt-Zeher also said that college major is the only factor explaining a substantial part of the income gap that increased in importance between 1979 and 1999.

1 comment:

  1. After several workshops, testing the market for 'college on a budget,' I have realized the awful truth.

    Most people don't make sensible choices, they don't plan beyond lunch, and they still don't give a damn about debt burden, especially for college expenses.

    They have a long, long way to go 'til they perceive reality in higher education.

    I suppose that an application of the Pareto Principle will apply: we will see.

    Professor Dad