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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. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
  2. Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Technique to Logit and Probit Models," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7j86n5q3, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
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  5. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. A.L Robb & L. Magee & J.B. Burbidge, 2003. "WAGES in CANADA: SCF, SLID, LFS and the Skill Premium," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 106, McMaster University.
  7. Neill, Christine, 2009. "Tuition fees and the demand for university places," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 561-570, October.
  8. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  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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