Representation and Salary Gaps by Race/Ethnicity and Gender at Selective Public Universities

Working Paper Number: 
WP 16-13

We use data from the 2015-16 academic year to document faculty representation and wage gaps by race/ethnicity and gender in six fields at 40 selective, public universities. Consistent with widely available information, black, Hispanic, and female professors are underrepresented and white and Asian professors are overrepresented in our data. We show that disadvantaged-minority and female underrepresentation is driven predominantly by underrepresentation in STEM fields. A comparison of senior and junior faculty suggests a trend toward greater diversity in academia along racial/ethnic and gender lines, especially in STEM fields, because younger faculty are more diverse. However, black faculty are an exception; there is little indication that their representation is improving among young faculty. We decompose racial/ethnic and gender wage gaps and show that three observed factors account for most or all of the gaps: academic field, experience, and research productivity. We find no evidence of wage premiums for individuals who improve racial/ethnic and gender diversity, although for black faculty we cannot rule out a modest premium.

JEL Codes: 
I20, J10, J30

Diyi Li