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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 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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