Nevertheless She Persisted? Gender Peer Effects in Doctoral Stem Programs

44 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018

See all articles by Valerie Bostwick

Valerie Bostwick

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics

Bruce A. Weinberg

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2018

Abstract

We study the effects of peer gender composition, a proxy for female-friendliness of environment, in STEM doctoral programs on persistence and degree completion. Leveraging unique new data and quasi-random variation in gender composition across cohorts within programs, we show that women entering cohorts with no female peers are 11.9pp less likely to graduate within 6 years than their male counterparts. A 1 sd increase in the percentage of female students differentially increases the probability of on-time graduation for women by 4.6pp. These gender peer effects function primarily through changes in the probability of dropping out in the first year of a Ph.D. program and are largest in programs that are typically male-dominated.

Suggested Citation

Bostwick, Valerie and Weinberg, Bruce A., Nevertheless She Persisted? Gender Peer Effects in Doctoral Stem Programs (September 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25028. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3250545

Valerie Bostwick (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

410 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States

Bruce A. Weinberg

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

410 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States
614-292-6701 (Phone)
614-292-3906 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
22
Abstract Views
148
PlumX Metrics