Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The gender income gap and the influence of family formation reconsidered

Ochsenfeld, Fabian (2012): The gender income gap and the influence of family formation reconsidered.

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In her recent study Bobbitt-Zeher (2007) takes on the important task of identifying the contribution of educational factors relative to non-educational factors in the making of the gender income gap among the college-educated and finds that “family formation has virtually no effect on the income gap” (Ibid.:13). In this methodological comment we argue that she was led to this conclusion prematurely because her analysis falls short in several respects. We explicate the problems, delineate alternatives and replicate her analysis with similar German data. We find that each of the shortcomings leads to negative bias concerning the influence of family formation. Our results show that family formation is likely to be the single most important factor in the explanation of the income gap.

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