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Sociocultural Background and Choice of STEM Majors at University

Volker Grossmann (), Aderonke Osikominu and Marius Osterfeld

No 11250, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This paper examines the role of the sociocultural background of students for choosing STEM majors at university. We combine survey data on university graduates in Switzerland with municipality level information from the census, referenda and elections. We characterize a student's home environment with respect to political attitudes and religious background. Our empirical estimates are based on a generalized Roy model for the choice of study field. Identification exploits individual differences in the cost of studying a STEM field. Students from conservative backgrounds are more likely to study a STEM field, with a stronger response of men compared with women.

Keywords: Choice of field of study; Generalized Roy model; Sociocultural environment; STEM fields (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu
Date: 2016-04
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