Does attending predominately-female schools make a difference? Labor market outcomes for women

Abstract

This study explores the effects of attending predominately-female high schools on labor market outcomes. The existing literature about these schools is quite limited, and most research focuses on role-model effects at coeducational schools. Since returns to predominately-female high school attendance are likely to be upward biased due to selection, data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth are used to explore the determinants of such attendance. Girls who are raised Catholic, who are nonwhite, or who live in urban areas are more likely to enroll in predominately-female schools. Though women who attended these schools are no more or less likely to enter the workforce, they do earn a 19.7% higher wage than women who attended coeducational high schools. Controlling for personal characteristics as well as selection into predominately-female schools and into the workforce, the estimated wage differential falls to 12.6%.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. 1998.Separated by Sex: A Critical Look at Single-Sex Education for Girls.

  2. Ballou, D., and M. Podgursky. 1997.Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality. Kalamazoo: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Behrman, J. R., M. R. Rosenzweig, and P. Taubman. 1996. “College Choice and Wages: Estimates Using Data on Female Twins.”Review of Economics and Statistics 78: 672–85

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Betts, J. R. (2001) “The Impact of School Resources on Women’s Earnings and Educational Attainment: Findings from the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women.”Journal of Labor Economics 19: 635–657.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Blau, F. D., M. A. Ferber, and A. E. Winkler. 2005.The Economics of Women, Men, and Work, 5th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Boozer, M., and C. Rouse. 1995. “Intraschool Variation in Class Size: Patterns and Implications.”Journal of Urban Economics 50: 163–89.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Brewer, D. J., E. R. Eide, and R. G. Ehrenberg. 1999 “Does it Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings”.Journal of Human Resources 34: 104–23.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Butcher, K. F., and A. Case. 1994. “The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Womens’ Education and Earnings.”Quarterly Journal of Economics 109: 531–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Card, D. 1995. “Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited.”Research in Labor Economics 14: 23–48.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Card, D., and A. B. Krueger. 1998. “School Resources and Student Outcomes.”Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 559: 39–53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Card, D., and A. B. Krueger. 1992. “Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States.”Journal of Political Economy 100: 1–40.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Chiswick, B. R., and S. Koutroumanes. 1996. “An Econometric Analysis of the Demand for Private Schooling.”Research in Labor Economics 15: 209–37.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Coleman, J., T. Hoffer, and S. Kilgore. 1982.High School Achievement: Public, Catholic, and Private Schools Compared. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Dale, S. B., and A. B. Krueger. 2002. “Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables.”Quarterly Journal of Economics 117: 1491–1527.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Ehrenberg, R., D. Goldhaber, and D. Brewer. 1995. “Do Teacher’s Race, Gender, and Ethnicity Matter: Evidence from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988.”Industrial and Labor Relations Review 48: 547–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Evans, M. O. 1992. “An Estimate of Race and Gender Role-Model Effects in Teaching High School.”Journal of Economic Education 23: 209–17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Fishe, R., R. P. Trost, and P. Lurie. 1981. “Labor Force Earnings and College Choice of Young Women: An Examination of Selectivity Bias and Comparative Advantage.”Economics of Education Review 1: 169–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Frazis, H. 1992. “Wages, Family Background, and Endogenous Schooling.”Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Research and Evaluation Working Paper, March.

  19. Heckman, J. J. 1979. “Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error.”Econometrica 47: 153–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Heckman, J. 1991. “Male-Female Differences in Hourly Wages: The Role of Human Capital, Working Conditions, and Housework.”Industrial and Labor Relations Review 44: 746–59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Hoxby, C. M. 2000a. “The Effects of Class Size and Composition on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Natural Population Variation.”Quarterly Journal of Economics 115: 1239–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Hoxby, C. M. 2000b. “Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation.”NBER working paper No. 7867.

  23. Hoxby, C. M. 1994. “Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?”NBER working paper No. 4978.

  24. Lee, L. 1978. “Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables.”International Economic Review 19: 415–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Lewin, T. 1999. “Girls’ Schools Gain, Saying Coeducational Isn’t Equal.”New York Times. 11 April.

  26. Maddala, G. S. 1994. “Selectivity Problems in Longitudinal Data.”Econometric Methods and Applications 2: 213–40.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Maddala, G.S. 1986. “Disequilibrium, Self-Selection, and Switching Models.” inHandbook of Econometrics, vol. 3, edited by Z. Griliches and M.D. Intriligator. Amsterdam: North Holland, 1633–88.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Maddala, G. S. 1983.Limited-Dependent and Qualitative Variables in Econometrics. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Mincer, J., and S. Polachek. 1974. “Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women.”Journal of Political Economy 82: S76-S108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Neal, D. 1997. “The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement.”Journal of Labor Economics 15: 98–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Rothstein, D. S. 1993. “Generating Equality? An Economic Analysis of Labor Market and Educational Outcomes of Single-Sex Versus Coed College Education” M.S. Thesis, Cornell University.

  32. Vella, F. 1994. “Gender Roles and Human Capital Investment: The Relationship between Traditional Attitudes, and Female Labour Market Performance.”Economica 61: 191–211.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Billger, S.M. Does attending predominately-female schools make a difference? Labor market outcomes for women. J Econ Finan 31, 166–185 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02751641

Download citation

Keywords

  • Labor Force Participation
  • Wage Differential
  • Labor Market Outcome
  • National Longitudinal Survey
  • Wage Regression