Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1681606
 
 

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Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women


Gary S. Becker


University of Chicago - Department of Economics; University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

William H. J. Hubbard


University of Chicago Law School

Kevin M. Murphy


University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

September 2010

MFI Working Paper No. 2010-09

Abstract:     
The last forty years have witnessed a remarkable boom in higher education around the world. Importantly, the boom in higher education has been concentrated among women, such that today in most higher-income countries, and many lower-income countries, more women than men attend and complete tertiary education. We present a model that explains the increase in higher education, particularly among women, in terms of a market for college graduates in which the supply of college graduates is function of the distribution of the costs and benefits of higher education across individuals. Examining evidence on these costs and benefits, we find no clear evidence that benefits are greater for women than men. Instead, it appears that differences in the total costs of college for women and men - primarily due to differences in the distributions of non-cognitive skills for women and men - explain the overtaking of men by women in higher education.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: Higher Education, College, Returns to Education, Gender

JEL Classification: J16, J24, I21

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Date posted: September 23, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Becker, Gary S. and Hubbard, William H. J. and Murphy, Kevin M., Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women (September 2010). MFI Working Paper No. 2010-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1681606 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1681606

Contact Information

Gary S. Becker (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
William H. J. Hubbard
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Kevin M. Murphy
University of Chicago ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7280 (Phone)
773-702-2699 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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