Celebrating Title IX

I’m starting a paper on adolescent girls as a consultancy project this week with a dear friend and coauthor. I love working with her and I’m so excited to see where we can take this project. We’re evaluating a range of programs and research aimed at improving outcomes for girls. We’ve cast a wide net early on and have a list a mile long of subjects and projects, from how water infrastructure reduces risk of rape for refugees to how allocation of assets to mothers improves girls’ education levels. I’m excited for this project because it takes a rather comprehensive approach. As an economist, often I’m asked to identify effects from singular events (by how much longer did you go to school if your mother spent an extra year in school?) as opposed to larger, integrative solutions. Econometric rigor and cost-benefit analysis requires the former, but it’s also nice to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Title IX is one of those bigger picture pieces of legislation that has far-reaching, integrative effects, and today it turns 40. I never knew a world where there wasn’t a swim team or lacrosse team for me to play on, and I’m pretty grateful for that. Sometimes, it seems small in the face of problems like FGM, but I’m glad we’re far past that. Happy anniversary, Title IX!

Betsey Stevenson has two great papers on Title IX and girls’ participation in sports in the US. Here, the 2010 ReStat paper and here, the 2007 Contemporary Economic Policy Paper. The 2010 paper is also a really nice example of using natural experiments for causal identification.

If you have even more time, check out the rolling links on the National Women’s Law Center blog, where bloggers from all over are celebrating Title IX with stories of coming into their own through sports, advancement opportunities that arose from the legislation, memoirs of struggling for fair treatment, hopes for the future and more.

h/t @SandraFluke

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