Sexual Violence, Title IX and Women's College Enrollment

30 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2016

See all articles by Dave E. Marcotte

Dave E. Marcotte

University of Maryland Baltimore County; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jane Palmer

American University - School of Public Affairs


Sexual violence has long been a problem on college campuses, yet federal policies to protect students have largely been ineffectual. Spurred by student grievances, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights recently began investigating how sexual assault cases were handled at a number of institutions under the Title IX provisions of the Education Amendments of 1972.These investigations focus attention on specific colleges' responses to cases of sexual violence and raise the specter that these institutions may fail to properly investigate allegations or punish perpetrators. In this paper, we examine the implications of these investigations on college enrollment, particularly for women. We combine institution-level panel data on enrollment by age and gender, with information on Title IX investigations to study changes in women's college enrollment. We estimate that enrollment of women at colleges under Title IX investigation declined by 16 to 22 percent. The declines are consistent with both declining matriculation and retention of female students.

Keywords: college, educational attainment, sexual assault

JEL Classification: I24, J16

Suggested Citation

Marcotte, Dave E. and Palmer, Jane, Sexual Violence, Title IX and Women's College Enrollment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10345, Available at SSRN:

Dave E. Marcotte (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Baltimore County ( email )

1000 Hilltop Circle
Policy Sciences Graduate Program 621 Administration Building
Baltimore, MD 21250
United States
410-455-1455 (Phone)
410-455-1172 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072

Jane Palmer

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

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