Firm Sorting, College Major, and the Gender Earnings Gap

Produced by: 
Banco Central de Chile
Available from: 
June 2020
Paper author(s): 
Federico Huneeus
Conrad Miller
Christopher Neilson
Seth Zimmerman
Education - Health
Gender Economics

A growing body of evidence shows that differences in firm-specific pay premiums account for a large share of the gender pay gap. This paper asks how a common form of pre-labor market skill specialization, college major, mediates access to high-paying firms, and what this means for the gender earnings gap. Using employer-employee tax data from Chile matched to educational records, we show that differences in college major account for more than two-thirds of the firm contribution to the gender earnings gap among college admits. Degrees in Technology, which are numerous, male-dominated, and associated with high firm premiums, drive these effects.


Research section: 
Latest Research
Share this