College Major and the Gender Earnings Gap: A Multi-Country Examination of Postgraduate Labour Market Outcomes

Research in higher education

This paper explores the effects of degree choice on the distribution of occupational benefits in terms of income, and their contribution to the gender earnings gap, among young European higher education graduates. The results reveal that the field of study, which is the result of a personal choice, appears to influence the distribution of work-related benefits among graduates even after controlling for unobservable heterogeneity and observable individual/job specific characteristics. Analysis of the gender earnings gap shows that the earning disparities among female/male graduates in Education, Humanities and Mathematics are smaller.