Gender Gap in Earning More Significant for Asian Americans than Whites : A Study

October 29,  New York, NY (Washington Bangla Radio): 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 and Daniel Liou, 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.

“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 the same 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 policies that seek equal opportunity for all Asian Americans.”