Will This Get Me a Job? Gender, Employment and College Attainment, Before and After the Mancession.

36 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2017  

Vedant Koppera

University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Economics, Students

Aashish Mehta

University of California, Santa Barbara

Date Written: November 25, 2017

Abstract

Between 1981 and 2008, US college attainment rates rose faster for young women than men. However, after the 2008 “Mancession,” male attainment rose faster than female attainment. The most widely supported explanations for women’s domination of the pre-2008 college expansion (improved contraceptive and household technologies, no-fault divorce laws, and young women’s greater college readiness), do not readily explain the post-2008 reversal in gendered attainment trends. We show, in a variety of ways, that sharp differences in female and male employment trends before and after 2008 offer a plausible account for the post-2008 reversal of gendered attainment trends. Pre-2008, a rapid increase in the representation of women in high wage occupations increased the incentive for women to go to college. Post-2008, this trend disappeared, and men, driven by receding opportunities in traditionally male sectors, were incentivized to go to college seeking access to service jobs, especially those whose wages are institutionally shielded from labor market competition. These results indicate some convergences in the ways that men and women capitalize on their college educations in the labor market.

Keywords: Women, Men, College Premium, College Attainment, Employment, Occupation

JEL Classification: J21, J16, I21, J24

Suggested Citation

Koppera, Vedant and Mehta, Aashish, Will This Get Me a Job? Gender, Employment and College Attainment, Before and After the Mancession. (November 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3077249 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3077249

Vedant Koppera

University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA
United States

Aashish Sunil Mehta (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.global.ucsb.edu/people/aashish-mehta

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