The question economics major Karolina Klimczak has been asking is why is there a still a gender wage gap in the 21st century? While conditions have improved in the last 30 years, the gender wage gap is still noticeable.

In economics there are always phenomena which can be explained by experts but there is also always a gray area which is left unexplained. Karolina claims it is in these unknown phenomena that allow the most discrimination to occur.

In her research, she set out to observe the phenomena of the gender wage gap in the U.S. in 2013 and compare it to Paul Miller’s study “The Gender Pay Gap in the US: Does Sector Make a Difference?”, and perhaps also find an explanation along the way.

Because the subject of the gender wage gap is so broad, Karolina narrowed her research down and focused primarily on comparing the gap in the public and private sectors of the workforce.

She found that discrimination decreased in the private sector in 2013 in the U.S. There was also a bigger wage gap at the bottom of the wage distribution in the public sector, a phenomena known as the sticky floor effect.

Education was also an important factor in wage distribution, and Karolina found that if you graduate with only a high school degree you are better off in the public sector and if you graduate with the highest degree you are better off in the private sector.

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