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The Wage Gap Exists Even Among Graduates of Top Universities

Feb. 16, 2017

According to a new, and depressing, study

According to a new study published in Social Science Research, the wage gap exists even among graduates of the nation’s most competitive universities. Researchers Dirk Witteveen and Paul Attewell of the City University of New York analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics showing salaries of two groups of alumni. The first batch graduated in 1992 and 1993 and were interviewed 10 years later, while the second group was from the classes of 2007 and 2008 and were questioned four years after they left school. All participants were asked, among other inquiries, “What is your current salary?” Those from the most selective universities, based on Barron’s annual Profile of American Colleges, earned 21% more on average than those from the lowest-tier schools — but the more shocking findings pertained to gender.

“The earnings difference between full time employed women who graduated from the top-ranked schools and their male classmates is striking: in both cohorts, women earn about 16% less than their male counterparts who graduated from a similarly elite college,” the researchers wrote.

And, in the 1992-93 group, women who graduated from elite universities had salaries similar to men who graduated from the least selective schools.

Witteveen and Attewell concluded: “Hence, the large gender disadvantage in earnings for full-time employees is not overcome by attending a relatively more selective institution.”

[H/T The Cut]