Gender Differences in College Applications: Aspiration and Risk Management

54 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2020

See all articles by Judith Delaney

Judith Delaney

Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)

Paul J. Devereux

University College Dublin - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We study gender differences in decision-making strategy when applying for college using applications data for all college applicants in Ireland over the 2015-17 period. Detailed information on high school subjects and grades enable us to examine how the college choices of equally achieving students differ by gender. We find that female students better balance the opportunity to aim for highly selective programmes with their top choices while also listing programmes with lower entry requirements so as to reduce their risk of not being admitted to any programme. We also find that females favour field of study over institution with their top 3 choices being more likely to cluster on field of study and less likely to be for a particular college. When we investigate how effects differ across the achievement distribution, we find that gender differences in risk management are concentrated amongst high achieving students.

JEL Classification: I2

Suggested Citation

Delaney, Judith and Devereux, Paul J., Gender Differences in College Applications: Aspiration and Risk Management. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13973, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3755390 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3755390

Judith Delaney (Contact Author)

Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) ( email )

Whitaker square Sir john Rogerson's Quay
Dublin 2
Dublin
Ireland

Paul J. Devereux

University College Dublin - Department of Economics ( email )

Belfield
Dublin 4, 4
Ireland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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