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Accounting for the Gender Gap in College Attainment

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  • Fang (Annie) Yang
  • Suqin Ge

Abstract

One striking phenomenon in the U.S. labor market is the reversal of the gender gap in college attainment. Females have outnumbered males in college attainment since 1987. We develop a discrete choice model of college entry decisions to study the effects of changes in relative earnings, changes in parental education, and changes in the marriage market on time series observations of college attainment by gender. We find that the increase in the relative earnings between college and high school individuals and the increasing parental education have important effects on the increase in college attainment for both genders but cannot explain the reversal of the gender gap. Declining marriage rates decrease returns to college for females less than those for males, and thus is crucial in explaining the reversal of the gender gap in college attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Fang (Annie) Yang & Suqin Ge, 2008. "Accounting for the Gender Gap in College Attainment," Discussion Papers 08-02, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:08-02
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    3. Hui He, 2011. "Why Have Girls Gone to College? A Quantitative Examination of the Female College Enrollment Rate in the United States: 1955-1980," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 12(1), pages 41-64, May.
    4. Odinah L. Cuartero & Dulcemina O. Leva, 2014. "Mining Companies Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and Its Impact to the Multi-Sector of Carcanmadcarlan," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(10), pages 1077-1091, October.
    5. Alena Bicakova & Stepan Jurajda, 2014. "The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp504, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    6. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2016. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 621-662.

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