Firm Sorting, College Major, and the Gender Earnings Gap
A growing body of evidence shows that diﬀerences in ﬁrm-speciﬁc pay premiums account for a large share of the gender pay gap. This paper asks how a common form of pre-labor market skill specialization, college major, mediates access to high-paying ﬁrms, and what this means for the gender earnings gap. Using employer-employee tax data from Chile matched to educational records, we show that diﬀerences in college major account for more than two-thirds of the ﬁrm contribution to the gender earnings gap among college admits. Degrees in Technology, which are numerous, male-dominated, and associated with high ﬁrm premiums, drive these eﬀects.
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