Women's Predominance Incollege Enrollments: Labor Market and Gender Identity Explanations
Beginning in 1982, the majority of college students have been women and that majority has increased since. Explanations for the predominance of women in college enrollments and completion include a variety of labor-market factors that might now advantage men less than in the past. Avariety of labor-market analyses show that, while some recent developments may have reduced incentives for men to enroll in college, labor-market explanations alone cannot account for the predominance of women in college. Some of the reduced incentives for male college enrollment point to gender identities typical of young men and women as an important explanation for the predominance of women in college. Preliminary evidence for the gender identity explanation is offered. More controlled studies capable of testing and exploring the implications of the gender identity explanation are proposed.