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Gender gaps in higher education participation: An analysis of the relationship between prior attainment and young participation by gender, socio-economic class and ethnicity


  • Broecke, Stijn
  • Hamed, Joseph


In this paper, we use two new datasets to explore the extent to which the gender gap in higher education participation amongst young people in England is related to prior attainment. We find no conclusive evidence of a gender difference in the likelihood of participating in higher education once prior attainment is controlled for. We do find, however, that young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are overwhelmingly more likely to enter higher education compared to White people with the same prior attainment. In the case of young people who were eligible for free school meals, we find that prior attainment explains the vast majority of the gap in participation compared to non-FSM pupils, however we still find a small, negative (and statistically significant) effect, which we could not eliminate entirely in any of our models.

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  • Broecke, Stijn & Hamed, Joseph, 2008. "Gender gaps in higher education participation: An analysis of the relationship between prior attainment and young participation by gender, socio-economic class and ethnicity," MPRA Paper 35595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35595

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arnaud Chevalier, 2007. "Education, Occupation and Career Expectations: Determinants of the Gender Pay Gap for UK Graduates," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(6), pages 819-842, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rampino, Tina & Taylor, Mark P., 2012. "Educational aspirations and attitudes over the business cycle," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-26, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Rampino, Tina & Taylor, Mark P., 2013. "Gender differences in educational aspirations and attitudes," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Jake Anders, 2012. "What's the link between household income and going to university?," DoQSS Working Papers 12-01, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    4. Heaven Crawley, 2009. "The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in the United Kingdom," Papers inwopa579, Innocenti Working Papers.

    More about this item


    higher education participation; gender; ethnicity; socio-economic class;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education


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