COLLEGE MAJOR CHOICE AND CHANGES IN THE GENDER WAGE GAP
The distribution of college majors changed markedly between the 1970s and 1980s as fewer students completed degrees in low-skill fields such as education and letters and more graduated in high-skill fields such as engineering and business. This shift was most dramatic for females, who previously were concentrated in low-skill fields relative to those of males. This paper examines how this education-related skill upgrade, as represented by changes in the major distribution, affected the gender wage gap for college graduates during the 1980s. The results show that convergence in major distribution between males and females contributed to a decline in the gender wage gap for college graduates. Copyright 1994 Western Economic Association International.
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