Publication Date

May 1992


[Excerpt] This paper analyzes the response of female college attendance and completion rates to changes over time (and variations across labor markets) in the payoff to college and the cost of attendance and the preparation of students for college. The robustness of the main findings will be checked by analyzing two very different data sets: cross section data on individuals and time series data on awegate college enrollment and completion rates from 1949 to 1989. In Section 1, a simple model of the college attendance decision is developed which incorporates most of the factors discussed above. Section 2 presents the results of fitting the specification implied by the theory developed in Section I to cross-section data on the college attendance choices of 29,141 women who were high school juniors in 1960. Major findings of this analysis are that female college attendance is very responsive to public decisions effecting instate tuition levels and the proximity of public colleges and somewhat responsive to the magnitude of the local economic payoff to college.


Suggested Citation
Bishop, J. H. (1992). The growth of female college attendance: Causes and prospects (CAHRS Working Paper #92-20). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.