Seventy-eight pennies for your thoughts: An examination of income inequality between men and women in the United States

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Dingler, Elizabeth Joann
Wright, David W.

In today’s society education credentials are more important than in the past; individuals increasingly need a higher educational degree to maintain employment and increase their future income. Education allows individuals to increase their productivity which will increase their worth to an employer and make them desirable employees. Even though women outnumber men in college enrollments women still get paid less than men. This research attempts to explain the factors that lead to men’s increase in better pay over women even though women outnumber men in higher educational attainment. This research uses secondary data analysis from the March 2008 Current Population Survey consisting of 76,995 respondents. This study uses the alternative model which is comprised of three components; the individual, structural, and gender components each with individual level factors used to help explain the inequality in income between men and women. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analysis were used to examine the independent effects on income. The results suggest that men are seen in occupations that are mostly dominated by males and have higher rates of returns than occupations women are seen in. Even when women are in the same occupations as men, controlling for all other factors, women still earn less than men.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Sociology