EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Gender Differences in STEM Persistence after Graduation

Judith Delaney () and Paul Devereux ()

No 15352, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Much attention is focused on finding ways to encourage females to study STEM in school and college but what actually happens once women complete a STEM degree? We use the UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey to trace out gender differences in STEM persistence over the career. We find a continuous process whereby women are more likely to exit STEM than men. Among holders of STEM undergraduate degrees, women are more likely to obtain a non- STEM master's degree. Then, after entering the labour market, there is a gradual outflow of females during the first 15 years post-graduation so that females are about 20 percentage points less likely to work in STEM compared to their male counterparts. Conditional on leaving STEM, we find that females are more likely to enter the education and health sectors while males are more likely to enter the more lucrative business sector and that this can partly explain the gender pay gap for STEM graduates. Overall, our results suggest that policies that aim to increase the proportion of females studying STEM in school and college may have less effect than expected due to the lower attachment of females to STEM after graduation. Such policies may need to be augmented with efforts to tackle the greater propensity of females to exit STEM throughout the career.

Keywords: labour market; STEM gender gap; gender; STEM; gender pay gap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 I26 J16 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 53 pages
Date: 2022-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eur, nep-gen and nep-lma
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Published - published in: Economica, 2022, 89 (356), 862-883.

Downloads: (external link)
https://docs.iza.org/dp15352.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Gender Differences in STEM Persistence after Graduation (2022) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15352

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2022-10-04
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15352