(Bloomberg Business) — Men earn only about 3 percent more than women among recent graduates, yet that gap widens substantially with age, New York Federal Reserve economists find.
Looking at workers between the ages of 22 and 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree in the years 2009 to 2013, researchers find that women earn nearly as much — and in some fields, more than — their male counterparts, controlling for factors including age, race and college major. But don’t celebrate gender equality just yet.
First of all, most women still face a pay disadvantage at the start of their career, and that doesn’t stem from the commonly invoked explanation that men tend to choose to work in higher-paying professions compared with women (the researchers accounted for that). What’s more, even women who out-earn men early on don’t hold onto the lead. By mid-career, “males earn a more substantial premium in nearly every major,” the researchers found. For college graduates who were between 35 to 45, men earned about 15 percent more than women.