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Exposure to more female peers widens the gender gap in STEM participation


Brenøe, Anne Ardila; Zölitz, Ulf (2018). Exposure to more female peers widens the gender gap in STEM participation. Working paper series / Department of Economics 285, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper investigates how high school gender composition affects students’ participation in STEM college studies. Using Danish administrative data, we exploit idiosyncratic within-school variation in gender composition. We find that having a larger proportion of female peers reduces women’s probability of enrolling in and graduating from STEM programs. Men’s STEM participation increases with more female peers present. In the long run, women exposed to more female peers earn less because they (1) are less likely to work in STEM occupations, and (2) have more children. Our findings show that the school peer environment has lasting effects on occupational sorting and the gender wage gap.

Abstract

This paper investigates how high school gender composition affects students’ participation in STEM college studies. Using Danish administrative data, we exploit idiosyncratic within-school variation in gender composition. We find that having a larger proportion of female peers reduces women’s probability of enrolling in and graduating from STEM programs. Men’s STEM participation increases with more female peers present. In the long run, women exposed to more female peers earn less because they (1) are less likely to work in STEM occupations, and (2) have more children. Our findings show that the school peer environment has lasting effects on occupational sorting and the gender wage gap.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:I21, J16, J31
Uncontrolled Keywords:Gender, peer effects, STEM studies
Language:English
Date:April 2018
Deposited On:27 Apr 2018 11:54
Last Modified:31 Jul 2018 06:33
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:46
ISSN:1664-7041
OA Status:Green
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp285.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php

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