Why Have Girls Gone to College? A Quantitative Examination
of the Female College Enrollment Rate in the United States:

Hui He

This paper explores the extent to which the increase in the college enrollment rate of women in the U.S. from 1955 to 1980 can be accounted for by the change in the female college wage premium. I develop and calibrate a dynamic overlapping generations model with discrete schooling choice. I find that changes in the life-cycle earnings differential can explain the increase in the female college enrollment rate very well. Young women’s changing expectations of future earnings may also play an important role in driving their college entry decision.

Key Words: Female college enrollment rate; College wage premium; Life-cycle.
JEL Classification Numbers: E24, J24, J31, I21.