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Competitive Schools and the Gender Gap in the Choice of Field of Study

Authors
  • Landaud, Fanny
  • Ly, Son-Thierry
  • Maurin, Eric
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
Source
HAL-UPMC
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

In most developed countries, students have to choose a major field of study during high school. This is an important decision as it largely determines subsequent educational and occupational choices. Using French data, this paper reveals that enrollment at a more selective high school, with higher-achieving peers, has no impact on boys, but a strong impact on girls’ choices: they turn away from scientific fields and settle for less competitive ones. Our results are not consistent with two commonly-advanced explanations for gender differences in field of study, namely disparities in prior academic preparation and in sensitivity to rank in class.

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