College major choice and ability: Why is general ability not enough?
AbstractIn 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.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.
Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev
Educational economics; Human capital; Salary wage differentials; School choice;
Other versions of this item:
- Tjasa Loga & Saso Polanec, 2011. "College Major Choice and Ability: Why is General Ability not Enough?," LICOS Discussion Papers 27411, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
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