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Pay Differences among the Highly Trained: Cohort Differences in the Sex Gap in Lawyers' Earnings

Mary C. Noonan, Mary E. Corcoran and Paul N. Courant
Social Forces
Vol. 84, No. 2 (Dec., 2005), pp. 853-872
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3598482
Page Count: 20
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Pay Differences among the Highly Trained: Cohort Differences in the Sex Gap in Lawyers' Earnings
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Abstract

Using unique data from a survey of University of Michigan Law School graduates, we test various models of how sex differences in pay, labor supply and job settings should have evolved as women entered the elite male field of law. We compare the sex gap in earnings 15 years after graduation for two chorts of lawyers and find that it has remained constant over time. In both cohorts, men earn 52 percent more than women, 17 percent more than women with similar characteristics, and 11 percent more than women with similar characteristics in the same job settings. Sex differences in hours worked have increased over time and explain more of the sex-based earnings gap, while sex differences in job settings and years spent in private practice have declined and explain less of the gap.

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