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Title:The Male-Female Gap in Post-Baccalaureate Schooling
Author(s):Stevenson, Adam
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lubotsky, Darren H.
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Economics, Labor
Gender Studies
Education, Higher
Abstract:I investigate the nexus of gender, student ability, and post-baccalaureate (PB) program quality. This is the first general empirical study of graduate and professional educational investment to consider inter-field differences in quality and gender composition. A primary goal of this dissertation is to establish whether admissions policy can explain the substantial gender differences in program quality at the PB level, or whether student-side sorting between fields and quality levels is the main contributor to the gender quality gaps we observe. There are three major components to this study. First, I establish the facts of the matter, documenting that while women earn more PB degrees than men, and female attainment rates are growing faster than male rates, most of this growth comes from low-quality masters degree programs Women remain substantially less likely to earn PB degrees from high-quality programs than men, and this gap is growing in masters and professional degree programs. Next, I trace the student's path to a PB degree for one cohort. I distinguish between student choices and institutional choices, estimating a reduced form model of admissions in addition to a range of student selection effects from completion of a bachelors degree, through to attainment of a PB degree. High-quality masters and professional programs preferentially admit women, but the women who apply to masters degree programs tend to be disproportionately low-ability relative to the bachelors degree population. Finally, I present a formal model of PB admissions, and I use this model to guide my empirical investigation of the effects of admissions policy on the gender-quality gap. I measure admissions outcomes to test the model's predictions, and I use the model to impose structure on the data and estimate the program's gender preferences and educational production function. PB programs weakly value the gender composition of their student body, so that with a few exceptions (primarily in the biomedical sciences), admissions policy tends to equalize the distribution of program quality across gender, rather than creating a gap.
Issue Date:2009
Description:131 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI3392485
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:2009

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