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The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in Greece

Pouliakas, Konstantinos and Livanos, Ilias (2008): The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in Greece.

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Abstract

This study investigates the extent to which differences in the subject of degree studied by male and female university graduates contributes to the gender pay gap in Greece. The case of Greece is interesting as it is an EU country with historically large gender discrepancies in earnings and one of the highest levels of occupational gender segregation among OECD economies. Using micro-data from the most recently available waves (2000-2003) of the Greek Labour Force Survey (LFS), the returns to academic disciplines are firstly estimated by gender. It is found that the subjects in which women are relatively over-represented (e.g. Education, Humanities) are also those with the lowest amortization in terms of wage returns. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions subsequently imply that gender differences in the type of degree studied can explain an additional 8.4% of the male-female pay gap in Greece. Risk-augmented earnings functions (Hartog, 2006) indicate that Greek women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market.

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