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The effect of peer gender on major choice

Ulf Zölitz and Jan Feld ()

No 270, ECON - Working Papers from Department of Economics - University of Zurich

Abstract: This paper investigates how the peer gender composition in university affects students’ major choices and labor market outcomes. Women who are randomly assigned to more female peers become less likely to choose male-dominated majors, and they end up in jobs in which they work fewer hours and earn less. Men become more likely to choose male-dominated majors after having had more female peers, although their labor market outcomes are not affected. Our results suggest that the increasing female university enrollment over recent decades has paradoxically contributed to the occupational segregation among university graduates that persists in today’s labor market.

Keywords: Peer effects; major choice; gender composition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-11, Revised 2018-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-gen, nep-hrm, nep-lma and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (19) Track citations by RSS feed

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zur:econwp:270

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