Males' Transitions to College: Do Local Labor Markets Matter?

April Sutton, University of Texas at Austin

Given the importance of obtaining a college education for outcomes such as earnings, health, and civic engagement, identifying potential sources of males' lower rates of college participation relative to females is imperative. Although existing research has mainly focused on individual-level gender differences that may contribute to males' lower rates of college enrollment, this study explores whether local labor markets may serve as an important piece of the puzzle. Using the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002), I investigate the relationship between the proportion of workers in the community employed in male dominated, low-skill jobs and males' type of college matriculation. Preliminary results suggest a negative relationship between the proportion of workers in the local labor force employed in male-dominated, low-skill jobs and males' odds of attending a four-year college, net of individual, school, and other community-level factors.

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Presented in Session 13: Gender, Higher Education, and STEM Fields