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The Gender Imbalance in Participation in Canadian Universities (1977-2005)

  • Louis N. Christofides
  • Michael Hoy
  • Ling Yang

More females than males have been attending Canadian universities over the past decade and this gender imbalance in university participation has been increasing. We use the Linear Probability and Logit models to investigate the determinants of attending university and explore the reasons for the increasing gender imbalance. We find that, in gender-specific equations, the values of the coefficients attached to variables and the values of the variables themselves are both important in explaining the rising level of the university participation rate for women and men. The important variables include a time trend to capture the evolving societal norms, the dynamic influence of parental education, the earnings premium for a university degree, tuition fees and real income. The increasing gap between the female and male participation rates (15 percentage points by 2005) can be accounted for equally by differences in the coefficients in female and male participation equations and the widening gap in the university premium for women and men.

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Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 5-2008.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:5-2008
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  1. Frenette, Marc, 2002. "Too Far to Go on? Distance to School and University Participation," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002191e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. 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.
  3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2008. "Leaving Home: What Economics Has to Say about the Living Arrangements of Young Australians," IZA Discussion Papers 3309, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Bar-Or, Yuval, et al, 1995. "The Wage Premium to a University Education in Canada, 1971-1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 762-94, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  8. Neill, Christine, 2009. "Tuition fees and the demand for university places," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 561-570, October.
  9. Goldin, Claudia & Kuziemko, Ilyana & Katz, Lawrence, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Scholarly Articles 2962611, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt49c4n0fg, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  11. J.B. Burbidge & L. Magee & A.L. Robb, 2001. "The Education Premium in Canada and the United States," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 60, McMaster University.
  12. Finnie, Ross & Lascelles, Eric & 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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