This paper analyzes the contribution of entrepreneurial activities to gender earnings gaps among university faculty. Administrative data from universities (UMETRICS) linked to the universe of confidential W2 and 1099 tax records allow me to precisely classify earnings sources and measure faculty commercial engagement. I find substantial faculty gender gaps. Female faculty are 20 percentage points less likely to engage in entrepreneurial activities, with the entire participation gap driven by the gap in self-employment. The raw total male-female faculty earnings gap is $63k (on a base of $162k), with the gap in non-university earnings accounting for $18k (29%). Thus, though university earnings account for most of the total gap, commercial engagement opportunities substantially expand the gap. Earnings gaps also exist for all components of non-university earnings, including earnings from self-employment as well as from incumbent, young/startup, high-tech, and low-tech firms. Quantile regressions show that, as faculty move up the earnings distribution, gender earnings gaps grow and entrepreneurial activity becomes a more important contributor to the total gap, which is suggestive of a “glass ceiling” effect for female faculty. I also find that earnings gaps are small at career outset and then grow over time, but that the contribution of entrepreneurial activities to the total gap is relatively constant over the lifecycle.
Contact person: Michael Rose
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