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Author: Atherwood, Serge
Resulting in 2 citations.
1. Atherwood, Serge
Minding the Gap: Gender Disparities in the Early Career Wages of College Graduates and the Role of Individual Choice
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Demography, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2020
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): American Community Survey; College Graduates; Discrimination; Gender Differences; Wage Differentials; Wage Gap

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

More than half a century after it was brought to the attention of the American public, the gender wage gap remains contentious and imperfectly understood. Skeptics assert the gap is a myth, pointing to mounting evidence that the choices individuals make about education and work account for most, if not all, of the widely touted 20% wage penalty women experience. Believers maintain that female workers continue to earn less than their male peers for unjustifiable reasons despite policymaking as far back as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to eliminate discrimination based on sex. Which side is correct? Are they both correct?

This dissertation is one attempt at an answer. Using two sets of publicly available survey data, I examined U.S. wage differentials for males and females of the 1983-84 birth cohort shortly after their completion of a bachelor's degree in the late-mid to early-late 2000s and for several years thereafter. The effects of individual choices on employment and wage outcomes are relevant to young adults at the start of their careers, especially those who invested time, money, and effort to improve their employment and career prospects through higher education. Empirical analyses were guided by a conceptual framework using a life course approach to integrate the human capital model of wage-setting (epitomizing the individual choice argument) and social determinants theory (representing the believers' position on discrimination). Results showed college educated females earned lower wages and experienced less wage growth than their equally qualified male counterparts despite conditioning or controlling for measures of individual choice and notwithstanding a labor market environment more equitable to women than any that came before. These divergent trajectories constituted a pattern that transcended the relationship between high levels of human capital and small wage gaps at early career outset and suggest that even for recent cohorts of educationally advan taged young adult female workers, individual choice is an inadequate explanation for the wage disparities they experienced in the aggregate.

Bibliography Citation
Atherwood, Serge. Minding the Gap: Gender Disparities in the Early Career Wages of College Graduates and the Role of Individual Choice. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Demography, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2020.
2. Atherwood, Serge
Sanchez-Soto, Gabriela
Timing Effects of College During the School-to-Work Transition: Evidence from the NLSY97
Presented: Denver CO, Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 2018
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Population Association of America
Keyword(s): College Degree; College Enrollment; Transition, Adulthood; Transition, School to Work

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

During the transition to adulthood (TTA), college enrollment is seen as an aspirational pathway to a more secure future. In the post-2000 era, the college-going pathway has grown more expensive at the same time a college degree is increasingly seen as a labor market prerequisite. The first cohort of young adults to transition to adulthood post-2000 was born in the early 1980s. Today, they are in their mid- to late-30s and have completed their TTA. This paper explores the timing and determinants of college enrollment, college completion, and entry into the labor force for this cohort using life tables and discrete-time logistic regression models on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997. We find the risk of college enrollment increases sharply for females but decreases for non-white groups. Presence of children in the home and/or being in a union also substantially decreases likelihood of enrollment.
Bibliography Citation
Atherwood, Serge and Gabriela Sanchez-Soto. "Timing Effects of College During the School-to-Work Transition: Evidence from the NLSY97." Presented: Denver CO, Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 2018.