Accounting for the Gender Gap in College Attainment

35 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2009 Last revised: 16 Dec 2009

See all articles by Suqin Ge

Suqin Ge

Virginia Tech - Department of Economics

Fang Yang

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 25, 2009

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 driving forces of changes in college attainment by gender.

We find that the increase in relative earnings between college-educated and high-school-educated 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.

Rising divorce probabilities increase returns to college for females and decrease those for males, and thus are crucial in explaining the reversal of the gender gap in college attainment.

Keywords: gender, education, marriage, women, intergenerational schooling persistence

JEL Classification: J24, J16, I20

Suggested Citation

Ge, Suqin and Yang, Fang, Accounting for the Gender Gap in College Attainment (February 25, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1367346 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1367346

Suqin Ge

Virginia Tech - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Fang Yang (Contact Author)

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge ( email )

Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.bus.lsu.edu/fyang/

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