The Gender Gap in Higher Education in Europe: The Impact of Individual and National Characteristics
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Series/Report no.:2010 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 24th
In recent decades, a dramatic shift has occurred in higher education throughout many industrialized societies. For the first time in history, women are completing more education than men in many countries. In this paper, I examine the gender gap in higher education among young men and women in 17 European countries. Using data from the 2004 European Social Survey and aggregate country-level data, I examine how individual's family background and national-level labor market characteristics, marriage and family norms, and women's status affects the gender gap in university completion. I find that for young women, having a father with a university degree and a mother that worked outside the home during adolescence increases their likelihood of completing a tertiary degree compared to men. Additionally, living in a country with higher fertility rates and a more equal share of women participating in the labor market compared to men, increases women's odds of university completion, while it decreases men's odds of completion. Higher divorce rates decrease men's odds of completing a degree, but this negative effect does not exist for women. A larger percentage of a country's labor market that works in the industrial sector decreases both men's and women's likelihood of completing university, but at a greater rate for women than men. These findings contribute to our understanding of both the micro- and macro-level factors that influence the gender gap in university completion across countries.
Social and Behavioral Sciences; Social Work; Law: 1st Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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