Grantee Research

The Effect of Title IX on Gender Disparity in Graduate Education

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Title IX, gender inequality, graduate schools, professional schools


In 1960, 4% of U.S. lawyers and 7% of U.S. physicians were women. One potential explanation for few women in high-skilled occupations is informal graduate-school quotas for women. This paper examines whether Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which banned sex discrimination in admissions, was successful in reducing gender disparity in graduate education. I find a sharp and dramatic convergence of female and male graduate-degree fields coincident with Title IX's passage. This distributional change occurred as females predominantly moved into male-dominated fields and does not seem to be driven by gender-specific preferences.