Why are Some Academic Fields Tipping Toward Female? The Sex Composition of U.S. Fields of Doctoral Degree Receipt, 1971-2002

Sociology of Education, Vol. 80, pp. 23-42, January 2007

20 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2012

See all articles by Paula England

Paula England

Northwestern University - Institute for Policy Research

Paul D. Allison

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Sociology

Su Li

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Noah Mark

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jennifer Thompson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michelle Budig

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Han Sun

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: january 1, 2007

Abstract

Using data on the number of men and women who received doctorates in all academic fields from 1971 to 2002, the authors examine changes in the sex composition of fields. During this period, the proportion of women who received doctorates increased dramatically from 14 percent to 46 percent. Regression models with fixed effects indicate no evidence that fields with declining relative salaries deter the entry of men, as would be predicted by the queuing theory of Reskin and Roos. Consistent with the devaluation perspective and Schelling’s tipping model, above a certain percentage of women, men are deterred from entering fields by the fields’ further feminization. However, the rank order of fields in the percentage of women changed only slightly over time, implying that, to a large extent, men and women continued to choose fields as before, even when many more women received doctorates. The findings on the effects of feminization on salaries are mixed.

Suggested Citation

England, Paula and Allison, Paul D. and Li, Su and Mark, Noah and Thompson, Jennifer and Budig, Michelle and Sun, Han, Why are Some Academic Fields Tipping Toward Female? The Sex Composition of U.S. Fields of Doctoral Degree Receipt, 1971-2002 (january 1, 2007). Sociology of Education, Vol. 80, pp. 23-42, January 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2017150

Paula England

Northwestern University - Institute for Policy Research ( email )

2003 Sheridan Rd
Evanston, IL 60208-2600
United States

Paul D. Allison

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Sociology ( email )

3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
610-715-5702 (Phone)
419-818-1220 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.pauldallison.com

Su Li (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
8476449763 (Phone)

Noah Mark

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jennifer Thompson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michelle Budig

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Han Sun

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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