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Exposure to More Female Peers Widens the Gender Gap in STEM Participation

Anne Brenøe and Ulf Zölitz

No 12582, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper investigates how high school gender composition affects students' participation in STEM at college. 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 are less likely to work in STEM occupations, earn less, and have more children. Our findings show that the school peer environment has lasting effects on occupational sorting, the gender wage gap, and fertility.

Keywords: gender; peer effects; STEM studies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J16 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 59 pages
Date: 2019-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hme, nep-lma and nep-ure
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Forthcoming in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2020

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http://ftp.iza.org/dp12582.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Exposure to More Female Peers Widens the Gender Gap in STEM Participation (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Exposure to More Female Peers Widens the Gender Gap in STEM Participation (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Exposure to more female peers widens the gender gap in STEM participation (2018) Downloads
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