Apr 1, 2017 - Mar 31, 2019
Of the many advances in many countries in the last century, the converging roles of men and women are among the greatest. (Goldin 2014) A convergence has occurred in labor force participation, hours of domestic work, education and their earnings. Especially, women’s educational catch-up in many countries surpass that of men. In United States, women are currently the majority of college students and of those receiving a bachelor’s degree.
However, there still exists persistent gender gap in labor market outcomes of many developed and developing countries. So what must be the last step to achieve equality in the labor market?
In this project I aim to examine how women’s major choice in college affects their labor market outcomes among OECD countries. PIAAC data is very unique as they provide adult skills. I will also examine how their skill is formed by college education and also their contribution to employer learning in the labor market.
Missing Women in STEM
Even though women achieved equal or more education than men in terms of years of education or post graduate degree, there exists persistent gender inequalities in their major choice. Women’s representation in engineering fields, physics, and mathematics has been constantly low.
The discussion of gender differences in educational achievement and preference dates back the first half of the 20th century. For the past 100 years, many literature found out that girls tend to perform better than boys in academic areas especially in language skills, and boys in some mathematical areas.
Gender Gap in Labor Market
The markedly different choices in college major between women and men have significant economic impacts. In 2000-2001 US, the average education major employed full-time earned only 60 percent as much as one who majored in engineering. (Zafar 2012) Brown and Corcoran (1997) also found out that differences in major account for a substantial part of gender gap in the individual earnings.