Decomposing Gender Differences in College Student Earnings Expectations
Liam Delaney, Colm Harmon and Cathy Redmond
Despite the increasing coverage and prevalence of equality legislation and the general alignment of key determining characteristics such as educational attainment, gender differentials continue to persist in labour market outcomes, including earnings. Recently, evidence has been found supporting the role of typically unobserved non-cognitive factors in explaining these gender differentials. We contribute to this literature by testing whether gender gaps in the earnings expectations of a representative group of Irish university students are explained by simultaneously controlling for gender heterogeneity across a wide array of cognitive and noncognitive factors. Non-cognitive factors were found to play a significant role in explaining the gender gap, however, gender differentials persist even after controlling for an extensive range of cognitive and non-cognitive factors. Nearly three-quarters of the short run and two-thirds of the long run differential could not be explained.