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Graduating to a gender wage gap in South Korea

Nikolas Tromp and Juwon Kwak

Journal of Asian Economics, 2022, vol. 78, issue C

Abstract: Using data from the Graduates Occupational Mobility Survey and unconditional quantile regressions, this paper analyzes gender wage gaps among recent tertiary graduates in South Korea. Unconditional log wage gaps at the mean, 10th quantile and 90th quantile are 0.190, 0.146 and 0.239 which are at least half the size of the respective wage gaps among the general population. Aggregate decompositions show that composition effects are similar across the distribution while structural effects are larger further up the distribution, therefore driving wider gaps in high-wage positions. Detailed composition effects show that high school type, field of study, firm size and occupation explain at least 50% of the wage gaps. Major drivers include low rates of women in high school science tracks; university engineering courses; large firms; and manufacturing, sales and trade occupations as well as high rates of women in small firms and administrative, health and social welfare occupations. Lastly, the use of detailed categories for fields of study and occupations is shown to substantially increase the size of composition effects.

Keywords: Gender wage gap; Tertiary graduates; South Korea; Distributional decompositions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C10 J31 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2021.101408

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