The Gender Gap Reloaded: Is School Quality Linked to Labor Market Performance?

Spyros Konstantopoulos, Northwestern University
Amelie Constant, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) and Georgetown University

This study examines gender differences in hourly wages of young adults in the late 1970s, mid 1980s, and 2000. We investigate the gender gap in the middle, and the tails of the wages distribution using quantile regression. We also examine the importance of school quality in predicting labor market performance. We conducted analyses for three major groups: Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. We employ data from two rich longitudinal studies: the National Longitudinal Study of high school seniors in 1972 and the National Education Longitudinal Study of Eighth Graders in 1988. Our results indicate that the gender gap favoring men is more pronounced for Whites, and less pronounced for Blacks and Hispanics. Across all groups the gender gap in hourly wages is more pronounced in higher paid jobs. Finally, school quality seems to be an important predictor of future hourly wages for Whites mainly, but not for the two minority groups.

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Presented in Session 168: Gender Differentials in Schooling and Occupations