IZA DP No. 4636: The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country
published as 'Educational segregation and the gender wage gap in Greece' in: Journal of Economic Studies, 2012, 39 (5), 554-575
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, and the reasons underlying their distinct educational choices. The case of Greece is examined due to the fact that it is an EU country with historically large gender discrepancies in earnings and occupational segregation. Using micro-data from 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 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. Risk-augmented earnings functions of the Hartog-type also indicate that women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market.