Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Peter Orazem


Wage gaps between men and women have narrowed since 1970. There have been many explanations offered for this decline, but the most common have been the increased likelihood that women complete college, a narrowing of gender differences in occupational choice, and a reduction in wage discrimination. This study estimates the contributions of college entry, choice of major, and wage differentials within occupations on the overall change in gender wage gaps from 1967 to 2011 using a Tornqvist approximation to a shift-share analysis of the factors affecting relative earnings for men and women and changes in relative wages between men and women over time. College wage gaps are embedded into the overall wage gap using the labor market shares of men and women in college and other educational levels. I estimate how changes in relative educational attainment affects gender wage gaps and then, conditional on college completion, how changes in the composition of men and women within majors versus changes in the returns to majors affect the gender wage gap for college-educated individuals. Furthermore, I derive a unique institutional quality coefficient and determine some of the factors that predict the added value--either positive or negative--of attending a particular institution. I also use this quality coefficient to derive a new ranking of college quality and compare that with published rankings.


Copyright Owner

Nicole Stefanie Caviris



File Format


File Size

90 pages