The puzzle of missing female engineers: Academic preparation, ability beliefs, and preferences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper uses administrative North Carolina data linked from high school to college and national surveys to characterize the largest contributor to the STEM gender gap: engineering. Disparities are the result of differential entry during high school or earlier rather than postsecondary exit. Differences in pre-college academic preparation account for 5 to 7% of the gap. Females’ relative lack of academic self-confidence explains 8%, while other-regarding preferences and professional goals capture a further 14%. Empirical evidence using identifying variation in the gender composition of twins in North Carolina shows that opposite-sex pairs are more likely to pursue gender-stereotypical majors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Volume64
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Economics of gender
  • Human capital
  • Occupational choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Economics and Econometrics

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