FAITH & ECONOMICS
NUMBER 72, Fall 2018
Returns to Education in the United States: Differentials among Christian Affiliations by Gender
Abstract: This study examines the returns to education for the three major Christian affiliations in the United States—mainline protestants, conservative protestants, and catholics—using data for non-Hispanic whites from the 2005 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The returns to education are examined at the mean with ordinary least squares and along the wage rate distribution using quantile regressions. At the mean women generally have higher returns to education than men do. However, along the wage rate distribution, different patterns of the returns to education are observed among religious and gender groups. Mainline protestant women have higher returns to education than their male counterparts at low wages, but similar returns to education at high wages. Conservative protestant women have fairly uniform returns to schooling throughout the wage distribution that are also higher than the returns to schooling for conservative protestant men across the wage distribution. In contrast, the rates of return to schooling for Catholic women and men are generally similar along the wage distribution, except at the highest two deciles where women have higher rates of return to schooling. In addition, older conservative protestant men have lower returns to education than their younger counterparts do.
JEL codes: I26, Z12, J30, J16