DP11250 Sociocultural Background and Choice of STEM Majors at University
|Author(s):||Volker Grossmann, Aderonke Osikominu, Marius Osterfeld|
|Publication Date:||April 2016|
|Keyword(s):||Choice of field of study, Generalized Roy model, Sociocultural environment, STEM fields|
|Programme Areas:||Labour Economics|
|Link to this Page:||www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11250|
This paper examines the role of the sociocultural background of students for choosing STEM majors at university. We combine survey data on university graduates in Switzerland with municipality level information from the census, referenda and elections. We characterize a student's home environment with respect to political attitudes and religious background. Our empirical estimates are based on a generalized Roy model for the choice of study field. Identification exploits individual differences in the cost of studying a STEM field. Students from conservative backgrounds are more likely to study a STEM field, with a stronger response of men compared with women.