Gender Wage Gap Narrows for New Women College Grads: Fed Research

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The wage gap between recent male and female college graduates is narrowing and, in some cases, even reversing, but that those earnings gains by women dissipate the longer they remain in the workforce, according to a new analysis by Federal Reserve economists.

While studies have long shown the gender pay gap to be a stubbornly persistent phenomenon — with women earning somewhere between 77 and 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to recent studies — a new analysis by two researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that it has substantially narrowed for young college graduates.

In a post published on Liberty Street Economics, the blog of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the researchers said that a regression analysis of data from the American Community Survey found that, among recent college graduates aged 22 through 27 near-parity in pay is the new norm. The data from 2009-2013 on education and earnings together with a number of demographic characteristics showed women earning an average of 97 cents for every dollar earned by men with the same degrees in the same jobs, it said.

Of the 73 majors examined, young women actually earned as much or more than their male counterparts in 29 of them, including an 11 percent wage premium for treatment therapy majors and a 16 percent wage premium for recent female grads with social services degrees.

“We were somewhat surprised, too, when we first saw this,” said Richard Deitz, an assistant vice president in the bank’s research and statistics group and one of the study’s authors.

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WILAB LOVES is a series of articles and blog posts from across the web that Women’s iLab supports. This article was written by Martha C. White and published on on September 15th.