Study: Gender Gap in Earning More Significant for Asian Americans than Whites
Thursday, Oct 24, 2013
New York, NY -- A new policy paper on educational achievement and earning power of Asian Americans challenges the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans as universally high achievers. The policy brief, released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and written by Alejandro Covarrubias at Inspire and Daniel Liou at Arizona State University, highlights new statistics from Covarrubias and Liou's in-depth study "Asian American Education and Income Attainment in the Era of Post-Racial America," released by Teachers College at Columbia University, a peer-reviewed journal in the field of education.
"We find that race continues to leave a detrimental impression on the earning power of Asian Americans despite their high educational outcomes as an aggregated group," write Covarrubias and Liou.
"Research on Asian American educational and income outcomes is often presented in the same breath as Whites, in contrast to that of Blacks and Latinos, which encourages the model minority myth to spread," said Khin Mai Aung, Director of the Educational Equity Program at AALDEF. "This new policy paper, which dissects intersections of race with class, gender, and immigration status, indicates that Asian American students face similar obstacles to achievement and earning power felt by other groups."
The policy brief indicates that gender differences between Asian American men and women regarding earning power are even greater than compared to their White counterparts. Asian American men have significantly higher income outcomes than their female counterparts across almost all achievement categories (except for baccalaureate degrees), and Asian American men also have more professional/masters degrees (18.5% for men compared to 14.7% for women) and doctorate degrees (5.2% for men and 2.1% for women) than Asian American women across the board.
Class likewise continues to play a significant role in determining educational achievement and earning power. 96% of Asian Americans with a family income of $100,000 to $149,999 graduate from high school, compared to only 81% of those with a family income of $49,999 or below. At the collegiate level, 37% of Asian Americans with a family income of $100,000 to $149,999 attain a bachelor's degree, compared to only 24.5% of those with a family income of $49,999 or below.
"The stellar academic attainment of a limited group of predominantly middle-class Asian American students should not dictate the policies and needs for the overall community," said Aung. "We are hopeful that this data will encourage us to seek equal opportunity for all Asian Americans."
Alejandro Covarrubias, community scholar at the Institute of Service-Learning, Power, & Intersectional Research, uses intersectional theory to examine education policy implications of institutionalized privilege and oppression on different socially constructed groups. His current work studies the impact of intersectional subordination on the educational outcomes of diverse groups, including Asian Americans, people of Mexican origin, undocumented populations, and working-class individuals in distinct racialized spaces. Dr. Covarrubias has also researched the experiences of students who have been pushed out of high school, the alternative educational settings that reengage them, and the linkages to the failed "war on drugs."
Dr. Daniel Liou is an Assistant Professor at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Daniel's research focuses on classroom and organizational dynamics of academic expectations, self-fulfilling prophecies, and school reform, and how these dynamics influence students' opportunities to learn along the K-12 educational pipeline.
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
AALDEF, founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.
Institute of Service-Learning, Power & Intersectional Research (INSPIRE)
INSPIRE is a non-profit that works to create equitable and reciprocal relationships between local universities and community-based organizations for the purpose of carrying-out community-centered, participatory action research, meaningful service-learning projects, and research-based educational programming.