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Exposure to more female peers widens the gender gap in STEM participation

Anne Brenøe and Ulf Zölitz

No 285, ECON - Working Papers from Department of Economics - University of Zurich

Abstract: This paper investigates how high school gender composition affects students’ participation in STEM college studies. Using Danish administrative data, we exploit idiosyncratic within-school variation in gender composition. We find that having a larger proportion of female peers reduces women’s probability of enrolling in and graduating from STEM programs. Men’s STEM participation increases with more female peers present. In the long run, women exposed to more female peers earn less because they (1) are less likely to work in STEM occupations, and (2) have more children. Our findings show that the school peer environment has lasting effects on occupational sorting and the gender wage gap.

Keywords: Gender; peer effects; STEM studies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J16 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-gen, nep-hme, nep-lma and nep-ure
Date: 2018-04
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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