We have witnessed dramatic declines over the last half-century in the gender gap in education, in occupational sex segregation, and in pay. In more recent years, the historic downward trend in the gender pay gap has stalled, while the downward trend in occupational sex segregation has slowed. The scholars working within the field of gender inequality have sought to understand why there are gender gaps of this sort, why the size of these gaps is changing, and why the gaps are smaller in some countries than in others.
Gender and education
Why do males and females score differently on aptitude tests? Why has the gender gap in educational attainment disappeared altogether (and in some cases reversed)? Why have gender differences in college majors tended, by contrast, to persist?
Although occupational segregation has decreased in the last half-century, the pace of this change has slowed of late, and men and women continue to work in very different occupations. Why has this type of inequality been so resistant to change?
How large is the gender pay gap? Does it grow smaller when women and men working in the same firm and occupation are compared? When single women and men are compared? What accounts for the recent stalling of the historic decline in the pay gap?
Click on the buttons for examples of recent policy analysis, basic research, and journalism addressing this Key Issue
May require Adobe Reader.
Explore All Media and Affiliates
Click on the active buttons for a full listing of all the important policy analysis, basic research, or journalism addressing this key issue. Also explore our working papers addressing this key issue and our affiliates with expertise in this key issue.