Nevertheless She Persisted? Gender Peer Effects in Doctoral STEM Programs
Valerie Bostwick () and
No 25028, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
We study the effects of peer gender composition, a proxy for female-friendliness of environment, in STEM doctoral programs on persistence and degree completion. Leveraging unique new data and quasi-random variation in gender composition across cohorts within programs, we show that women entering cohorts with no female peers are 11.9pp less likely to graduate within 6 years than their male counterparts. A 1 sd increase in the percentage of female students differentially increases the probability of on-time graduation for women by 4.6pp. These gender peer effects function primarily through changes in the probability of dropping out in the first year of a Ph.D. program and are largest in programs that are typically male-dominated.
JEL-codes: I23 J16 O3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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