Title IX and Female Occupational Choice: Removing Barriers to Graduate Higher Education

Nayoung Rim, University of Chicago

This paper explores the determinants of occupational sorting by exploiting the 1972 passage of Title IX, which banned gender discrimination in graduate school admissions. First, I use a difference-in-differences methodology to test whether barriers to higher education influenced female educational choice. I find that females who were affected by Title IX were 3.4-6.5% more likely to study business, health, and law compared to females who were not. Moreover, Title IX had differential effects by gender parity. Second, I use a novel metric to measure the change in the distributions of occupation and graduate field. Thus, I am able to estimate the effect of the female-male graduate field convergence on the female-male occupation convergence. I find that a 1% convergence in graduate field leads to a 1.25% convergence in occupation. This effect is driven by convergence in specialized fields, which are closely related to a specific occupation.

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Presented in Session 160: Educational Achievement and Attainment