This paper presents novel worldwide evidence on the evolution of the gender gap in education over the past six decades. In every region of the world, I find that the gender gap increases from 1950 to 1975 and then decreases from 1975 to 2005. This path creates a puzzle since the existing explanations for the post- 1975 boom in the higher education of women are not fully consistent with this evidence. To solve this puzzle, I highlight the missing element in the literature: the different nature of the forces behind the increases in the demand for education in the two periods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)