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Adams and Eves: The Gender Gap in Economics Majors

Graziella Bertocchi, Luca Bonacini and Marina Murat

No 16767, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We investigate the gender gap in Economics among bachelor's and master's graduates in Italy between 2010 and 2019. First we establish that being female exerts a negative impact on the choice to major in Economics: at the bachelor level, only 73 women graduate in Economics for every 100 men, with the mathematical content of high school curricula as the key driver of the effect and a persistence of the gap at the master level. Second, within a full menu of major choices, Economics displays the largest gap, followed by STEM and then Business Economics. Third, decomposition analyses expose a unique role for the math background in driving the Economics gender gap relative to other fields. Fourth, a triple difference analysis of a high school reform shows that an increase in the math content of traditionally low math curricula caused an increase in the Economics gender gap among treated students.

Keywords: Education gender gap; Economics; Higher education; Business economics; Major choice; Major switching; Mathematics; Stereotypes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A22 I23 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-12
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Related works:
Working Paper: Adams and Eves:The Gender Gap in Economics Major (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Adams and Eves: The Gender Gap in Economics Majors (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Adams and Eves: The Gender Gap in Economics Majors (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Adams and Eves: The Gender Gap in Economics Majors (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Adams and Eves: The Gender Gap in Economics Majors (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Adams and Eves: The Gender Gap in Economics Majors (2021) Downloads
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