Oh, S., & Lewis, G. (2011). Stemming inequality? Employment and pay of female and minority scientists and engineers in the federal and private sectors. Social Science Journal, 48(2), 397-403.
- The study investigated the relationships among sector (federal or private); science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupation; gender or racial minority status; and earnings to determine whether federal- or private-sector STEM positions offer the greatest financial opportunities for female and racial minority STEM professionals.
- The authors compared the earnings of male and female STEM and non-STEM public sector employees in 1983 and 2003 using a 1 percent sample of the Office of Personnel Management’s Central Personnel Data File. To compare public- and private-sector outcomes, the authors also analyzed a 5 percent sample of the 2000 U.S. Census, examining differences in STEM and non-STEM public and private employees’ salaries by gender and race.
- The study found that women in public sector STEM positions earned 7.2 percent less than men in comparable public sector positions in 1983 even after controlling for education, STEM field, tenure, age, and race. This gender pay gap disappeared in the 2003 sample.
- Race and gender pay disparities, measured as the average difference in pay between racial minorities or women and white men, are smaller in the federal than the private sector and for STEM relative to non-STEM occupations. For example, in 1999, black male federal STEM employees earned 8.3 percent less than white men, compared to a pay gap of 10.9 percent for black male private sector STEM employees. For black men in non-STEM occupations, the pay gap relative to white men was 11.1 percent in the public sector and 20.6 percent in the private sector.
Reviewed by CLEAR