Has Higher Education Among Young Women Substantially Reduced the Gender Gap in Employment and Earnings?

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By Marc Frenette and Simon Coulombe

Statistics Canada , Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, 2007

From the executive summary: "It has been well documented that young women have been gaining ground on young men in terms of educational attainment. In 1981, 16.2% of women and 15.5% of men aged 25 to 29 who were in the labour force held a university degree. The gap only widened moderately by 1991, as 19.1% of young women and 16.1% of young men held a university degree. By 2001, the gap had increased dramatically: 31.3% of young women and 21.6% of young men held a university degree.

The objective of this study is to assess the role of rapidly rising educational attainment of young women in explaining trends in the gender gap in labour market outcomes, such as obtaining full-time employment and earnings. Census data are used to examine these issues."

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