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Gender Differences in Completed Schooling

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  • Kerwin Kofi Charles

    (University of Michigan)

  • Ming-Ching Luoh

    (Taiwan National University)

Abstract

This paper summarizes the dramatic changes in relative educational attainment by men and women over the past three decades. Stock measures of education among the entire adult population show rising attainment levels for both men and women, with men enjoying an advantage in schooling levels throughout this interval. Cohort-specific analysis reveals that these stock measures mask two interesting patterns: (a) gender difference at the cohort level had vanished by the early 1950 birth cohort and has been reversed in sign ever since; (b) for several cohorts, attainment rates were flat for women and flat and falling for men. This last is puzzling in the face of the large college premia that these cohorts observed when making their schooling choices. We present a simple human capital model showing how the anticipated dispersion of future wages should affect educational investment, and find that a model which includes measures of future earnings dispersion fits the data for relative schooling patterns quite well. © 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 85 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 559-577

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:85:y:2003:i:3:p:559-577

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  1. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Eliciting student expectations of the returns to schooling," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1049-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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  12. Rachel Connelly, 1986. "A Framework for Analyzing the Impact of Cohort Size on Education and Labor Earning," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 543-562.
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  14. Flinn, Christopher J., 1991. "Cohort Size and Schooling Choice," Working Papers, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University 91-40, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer & Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. " Precautionary Demand for Education, Inequality, and Technological Progress," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 285-315, December.
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