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Nevertheless She Persisted? Gender Peer Effects in Doctoral STEM Programs

Valerie Bostwick () and Bruce Weinberg

No 25028, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: 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)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen
Date: 2018-09
Note: ED LS
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