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Does Exposure to Economics Bring New Majors to the Field? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Hans Fricke, Jeff Grogger () and Andreas Steinmayr ()
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Jeff Grogger: University of Chicago

No 9003, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This study investigates how being exposed to a field of study influences students' major choices. We exploit a natural experiment at a Swiss university where all first-year students face largely the same curriculum before they choose a major. An important component of the first-year curriculum that varies between students involves a multi-term research paper in business, economics, or law. Due to oversubscription of business, the university assigns the field of the paper in a standardized way that is unrelated to student characteristics. We find that being assigned to write in economics raises the probability of majoring in economics by 2.7 percentage points, which amounts to 18 percent of the share of students who major in economics.

Keywords: higher education; law; economics; major choice; gender differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A20 I20 I23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-hpe and nep-sog
Date: 2015-04
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Published as 'Exposure to Academic Fields and College Major Choice' in: Economics of Education Review, 2018, 64, 199-213

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Working Paper: Does Exposure to Economics Bring New Majors to the Field? Evidence from a natural Experiment (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Does Exposure To Economics Bring New Majors To The Field? Evidence From A Natural Experiment (2015) Downloads
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