The role of peers and grades in determining major persistence in the sciences
AbstractUsing longitudinal administrative data from a large elite research university, this paper analyzes the role of peers and grades in determining major persistence in the life and physical sciences. In the physical sciences, analyses using within-course, across-time variation show that ex-ante measures of peer quality in a student's introductory courses has a lasting impact on the probability of persisting in the major. This peer effect exhibits important non-linearities such that weak students benefit from exposure to stronger peers while strong students are not dragged down by weaker peers. In both the physical and the life sciences, I find evidence that students are "pulled away" by their high grades in non-science courses and "pushed out" by their low grades in their major field. In the physical sciences, females are found to be more responsive to grades than males, consistent with psychological theories of stereotype vulnerability.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.
Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev
Educational economics Human capital;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2006.
"What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1435-1454, September.
- Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2005. "What Can Be Learned About Peer Effects Using College Roommates? Evidence From New Survey Data and Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20054, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
- repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
- David J. Zimmerman, 2003.
"Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
- Zimmerman, David J., 1999. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-52, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2009.
"Learning about Academic Ability and the College Drop-out Decision,"
NBER Working Papers
14810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2012. "Learning about Academic Ability and the College Dropout Decision," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 707 - 748.
- Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2008. "Learning About Academic Ability and the College Drop-Out Decision," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20086, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
- Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
- Talia Bar & Vrinda Kadiyali & Asaf Zussman, 2009. "Grade Information and Grade Inflation: The Cornell Experiment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 93-108, Summer.
- Han, Li & Li, Tao, 2009. "The gender difference of peer influence in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 129-134, February.
- Richard Sabot & John Wakeman-Linn, 1991. "Grade Inflation and Course Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 159-170, Winter.
- Bruce Sacerdote, 2001.
"Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
- Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Foster, Gigi, 2006. "It's not your peers, and it's not your friends: Some progress toward understanding the educational peer effect mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1455-1475, September.
- Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009.
"Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, 07.
- Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2008. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Manski, Charles F, 1993.
"Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
- Rask, Kevin & Tiefenthaler, Jill, 2008. "The role of grade sensitivity in explaining the gender imbalance in undergraduate economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 676-687, December.
- David L. Sjoquist & John V. Winters, 2013.
"State Merit-Aid Programs and College Major: A Focus on Stem,"
Economics Working Paper Series
1406, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
- Sjoquist, David L. & Winters, John V., 2013. "State Merit-Aid Programs and College Major: A Focus on STEM," IZA Discussion Papers 7381, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Oosterbeek, Hessel & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2014.
"Gender peer effects in university: Evidence from a randomized experiment,"
Economics of Education Review,
Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 51-63.
- Oosterbeek, H. & Ewijk, R. van, 2010. "Gender peer effects in university: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Working Papers 35, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
- Hessel Oosterbeek & Reyn van Ewijk, 2010. "Gender Peer Effects in University: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-113/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Winters, John V., 2013. "STEM Graduates, Human Capital Externalities, and Wages in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 7830, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ficano, Carlena Cochi, 2012. "Peer effects in college academic outcomes – Gender matters!," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1102-1115.
- Ehrenberg, Ronald G., 2010. "Analyzing the factors that influence persistence rates in STEM field, majors: Introduction to the symposium," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 888-891, December.
- CESI, Berardino & PAOLINI, dimitri, 2012. "Peer group and distance: when widening university participation is better," CORE Discussion Papers 2012042, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.