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Culture and the gender gap in major choice: an analysis using sibling comparisons
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Statistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0702-5564
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Statistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4068-2985
2019 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we study the importance of culture on gender roles – preferences and beliefs about the appropriate role of women in society – for the gender gap in choice of major, using the epidemiological approach. We focus on second-generation immigrants in Sweden and compare the major choices at high school and college among opposite-sex siblings. By incorporating sibling fixed effects we can more convincingly than in previous literature control for factors apart from culture on gender roles that may affect educational choices. We use the female relative share in traditionally male fields to proxy for culture on gendered beliefs about educational choices in the source country. We find a negative gender gap in the probability of having majored in a STEM or male-dominated field, and that this gender gap varies with the proxy for culture on gender roles. We observe the same pattern when we study the probability to have majored in a female-dominated field. Our results clearly indicate that policies aimed at changing stereotypical gendered beliefs about educational choices have the potential to decrease the gender gap in major choice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University Centre for Discrimination and Integration Studies , 2019. , p. 57
Series
Working paper series: Linnaeus University Centre for Discrimination and Integration Studies ; 2019:3
Keywords [en]
Culture, Sibling fixed effects, Second-generation immigrants, Gender gap, Major choice, STEM
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-90494OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-90494DiVA, id: diva2:1377567
Available from: 2019-12-12 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Aldén, LinaNeuman, Emma
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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