Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Effect of Peer Gender on Major Choice

University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 270

41 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2017  

Ulf Zölitz

University of Zurich; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jan Feld

Victoria University of Wellington - Victoria Business School

Date Written: November 2017

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, they end up in jobs where they work fewer hours and their wage grows at a slower rate. 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

JEL Classification: I21, I24, J24

Suggested Citation

Zölitz, Ulf and Feld, Jan, The Effect of Peer Gender on Major Choice (November 2017). University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 270. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3071681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3071681

Ulf Zölitz (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jan Feld

Victoria University of Wellington - Victoria Business School ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef/about/staff/jan-feld

Paper statistics

Downloads
345
rank
74,227
Abstract Views
4,564