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Can Female Doctors Cure the Gender STEMM Gap? Evidence from Randomly Assigned General Practitioners

Julie Riise (), Barton Willage () and Alexander Willén ()
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Julie Riise: Department of Economics, University of Bergen

No 18/2019, Discussion Paper Series in Economics from Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

Abstract: We use random assignment of general practitioners (GPs) to provide the first evidence on the effects of female role models in childhood on the long-run educational outcomes of girls. We find that girls who are exposed to female GPs in childhood are significantly more likely to sort into traditionally male-dominated education programs in high school, most notably STEMM. These effects persist as females enter college and select majors. We also find strong positive effects on educational performance throughout their academic careers, suggesting that female role models in childhood improve education matches of girls. The effects we identify are significantly larger for high-ability girls with low educated parents, suggesting that female role models may improve intergenerational mobility and narrow the gifted gap for disadvantaged girls.

Keywords: Role Models; STEMM; Gender Gap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I24 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 47 pages
Date: 2019-10-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-lma and nep-ure
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