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Progress Toward Title IX Compliance: The Effect of Formal and Informal Enforcement Mechanisms


  • *The author will share all data, including coding materials, to those wishing to replicate the study. The author thanks Lee Sigelman and Paul Wahlbeck for providing data on 1995–1996 athletic participation, expenditures, and enrollment, and participants at the 2003 Eastern Economic Association meetings and two anonymous referees for their comments.

Sarah L. Stafford, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187


Objective. This article examines the factors that determine whether an intercollegiate athletic program is in compliance with Title IX, the statute requiring gender equity in educational programs.

Methods. I conduct a series of econometric regressions that examine the compliance status of Division I institutions as well as the progress they have made toward compliance.

Results. Large institutions and institutions with a lower percentage of female undergraduates are more likely to be in compliance. Institutions with football programs are less likely to be in compliance as are schools in the south. The effect of football revenues, operating budgets, and NCAA sanctions varies across division as well as compliance area.

Conclusions. The results of the analysis indicate that current enforcement mechanisms have been relatively ineffective at increasing compliance and that some change either in enforcement or compliance standards is warranted. Additionally, a one-size-fits-all enforcement approach is unlikely to be effective.