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Drop out, switch majors, or persist? The contrasting gender gaps

Astorne-Figari, Carmen and Jamin D. Speer

Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 164, issue C, 82-85

Abstract: Men and women respond differently to early-college struggles. Men are more likely than women to drop out of college, while women are more likely to switch majors. These effects offset so that there is no gender gap in the probability of graduating in one’s initial major choice. For students who begin in STEM majors, however, women are far less likely to graduate in the field, driven by the fact that they are twice as likely to switch majors. We find no evidence that women are more sensitive to poor academic performance in the switching or dropout decisions.

Keywords: Gender gaps; College major; STEM majors; Persistence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I23 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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