Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2011 Marika May
This paper examines the effect of psychological traits on earnings and furthermore whether it helps explain the gender wage gap. Public-use data collected from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health is used to evaluate the impact on earnings on seven psychological factors: masculine traits, self esteem, analytical problem solving approach, willingness to work hard, impulsiveness, problem avoidance, and self-assessed intelligence. Findings show that gender differences in psychological traits are significant and returns to observable characteristics differ somewhat by gender as well. Among the young sample of U.S. employees evaluated in this study, I find that up to 21 percent of the gender wage gap can be explained, with psychological factors specifically explaining up to 1.5 percent of this gap.
May, Marika, "Examining the Effect of Psychological Traits on Earnings and the Gender Wage Gap within a Young Sample of U.S. Employees" (2011). CMC Senior Theses. 144.