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Why Have Girls Gone to College? A Quantitative Examination of the Female College Enrollment Rate in the United States: 1955-1980

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  • Hui He

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

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Abstract

This paper documents a dramatic increase in the college enrollment rate of women from 1955 to 1980 and asks a quantitative question: to what extent can such change be accounted for by the change in the female cohort-specific college wage premium? I develop and calibrate an overlapping generations model with discrete schooling choice. I find that changes in the life-cycle earnings differential can explain the increase in female college enrollment rate very well. Young women's changing expectations of future employment opportunity also played an important role in driving their college attendance decision from the mid 1950s to the early 1970s.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_09-12.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200912.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200912

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Keywords: female college enrollment rate; college wage premium; life-cycle;

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References

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  2. John Bound & Sarah E. Turner, 1999. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," NBER Working Papers 7452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 557-587, October.
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  8. Jacob, Brian A., 2002. "Where the boys aren't: non-cognitive skills, returns to school and the gender gap in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 589-598, December.
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  12. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  21. Jonathan Heathcote, 2003. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-19, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  22. Hui He, 2009. "What Drives the Skill Premium: Technological Change or Demographic Variation?," Working Papers 200911, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  23. Virginia Sanchez Marcos, 2007. "What accounts for the increase in college attainment of women?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 41-44.
  24. Suqin Ge & Fang Yang, 2013. "Accounting For The Gender Gap In College Attainment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 478-499, 01.
  25. Salvador Navarro, 2011. "Using Observed Choices to Infer Agent's Information: Reconsidering the Importance of Borrowing Constraints, Uncertainty and Preferences in College Attendance," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20118, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  26. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
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Cited by:
  1. He, Hui, 2012. "What drives the skill premium: Technological change or demographic variation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1546-1572.

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