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Participation in Canadian Universities: The gender imbalance (1977-2005)

  • Christofides, Louis N.
  • Hoy, Michael
  • Yang, Ling

Females are more likely to attend Canadian universities and their participation rate has been increasing faster than that of males, generating a 15 percentage point gap by 2005. We investigate the determinants of attending university and explore the reasons for the increasing gender gap. As in the US literature, we find that conventional decompositions, averaging over the whole sample, attribute most of the gender gap to differences in variables, notably the University Premium. The average sample approach in these decompositions abstracts from the evolution over time of the participation rates by gender and from important detail at specific points in time, features that we try to overcome. We find that the rising level of the university participation rate for both women and men can be explained by changing societal norms, the dynamic influence of parental education, the University Premium, tuition fees and real income. The 2005 gap between the female and male participation rates can be accounted mostly (9 percentage points) by the gender differences in the University Premium and, to a lesser extent (6 percentage points), by differences in the coefficients in the female and male participation equations.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 400-410

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:400-410
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  2. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 12139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. A.L Robb & L. Magee & J.B. Burbidge, 2003. "WAGES in CANADA: SCF, SLID, LFS and the Skill Premium," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 386, McMaster University.
  6. Robert W. Fairlie, 2003. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Technique to Logit and Probit Models," Working Papers 873, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Adapting to Circumstances: The Evolution of Work, School, and Living Arrangements Among North American Youth," Working Papers 765, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Lascelles, Eric & Finnie, Ross & Sweetman, Arthur, 2005. "Who Goes? The Direct and Indirect Effects of Family Background on Access to Post-secondary Education," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005237e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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