Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

College major choice and ability: Why is general ability not enough?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Bartolj, Tjaša
  • Polanec, Sašo

Abstract

In this paper we study the impact of cognitive ability on college major choices using an administrative data set for full-time students enrolled in four-year business and economics programs offered by the largest Slovenian university. In contrast to existing studies, we are able to distinguish between general ability, measured with high school GPA, and major-specific ability, measured with grades achieved in major-specific courses. We show that students with higher general ability are more likely to enroll in Economics majors, while higher major specific ability (e.g. higher grade in Accounting) increases the likelihood of choosing that major (Accounting). We also find that both genders are more responsive to measured major-specific ability in majors that are traditionally more popular among them (e.g. Business Informatics for males). These results suggest that policy makers aiming to change the structure of the labor supply should attempt to change the major-specific abilities of students.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775712000878
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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 Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 996-1016

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:996-1016

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

Related research

Keywords: Educational economics; Human capital; Salary wage differentials; School choice;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. MONTMARQUETTE, Claude & CANNINGS, Kathy & MAHSEREDJIAN, Sophie, 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Dubin, Jeffrey A., 2007. "Valuing intangible assets with a nested logit market share model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 285-302, August.
  3. Arcidiacono, Peter & Hotz, V. Joseph & Kang, Songman, 2012. "Modeling college major choices using elicited measures of expectations and counterfactuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 3-16.
  4. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. Basit Zafar, 2013. "College Major Choice and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
  6. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
  7. Hausman, Jerry & McFadden, Daniel, 1984. "Specification Tests for the Multinomial Logit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1219-40, September.
  8. Jack Fiorito & Robert C. Duffenbach, 1982. "Market and nonmarket influences on curriculum choice by college students," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(1), pages 88-101, October.
  9. Fry, Tim R. L. & Harris, Mark N., 1996. "A Monte Carlo study of tests for the independence of irrelevant alternatives property," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 19-30, February.
  10. Richards, Timothy J., 2005. "A Nested Logit Model of Strategic Promotion," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19336, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  11. Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted future earnings and choice of college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
  12. Boudarbat, Brahim, 2008. "Field of study choice by community college students in Canada," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 79-93, February.
  13. Brown, Charles & Corcoran, Mary, 1997. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 431-65, July.
  14. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-44, January.
  15. Rasciute, Simona & Pentecost, Eric J., 2010. "A Nested logit approach to modelling the location of foreign direct investment in the Central and Eastern European Countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 32-39, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:996-1016. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

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.