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Gender Difference in Returns to Education Independent of Gender Wage Gap in Korea*

Jaeram Lee and Jungjoon Ihm

Asian Economic Journal, 2020, vol. 34, issue 2, 213-232

Abstract: This study examined the difference between male and female groups’ return on investment (ROI) in education independent of the average gender wage gap. Women’s additional ROI in education was significant and positively estimated. Furthermore, the ROI in women’s education was consistently higher than that in men regardless of educational stage, except for graduate education. These gender differences were greater in the younger generation than in the older generation and have decreased significantly in the recent ten years in high school education. Although the additional ROI in women’s education was positive in the field of culture and arts, education’s effect on wage increases in professional occupations was less than in men, especially in the fields of law and medicine. In addition, we show that gender differences in ROI in education were countercyclical. A base effect, large wage declines for low‐educated women during recessions, could explain this phenomenon. However, coinciding with the existence of positive cash flow news in the stock market that promises good business performance, a significant wage increase among highly educated women was found.

Date: 2020
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https://doi.org/10.1111/asej.12209

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