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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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hui He, 2009. "Why Have Girls Gone to College? A Quantitative Examination of the Female College Enrollment Rate in the United States: 1955-1980," Working Papers 200912, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200912
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    File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_09-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
    2. Davoine, Thomas & Mankart, Jochen, 2017. "Changes in education, wage inequality and working hours over time," Discussion Papers 38/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Parro Francisco, 2012. "A Supply-Demand Framework for Understanding the U.S. Gender Gap in Education," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-24, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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