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Are Faculty Role Models? Evidence from Major Choice in an Undergraduate Institution

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  • Kevin N. Rask
  • Elizabeth M. Bailey
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    Abstract

    The gap between men's and women's choice of college majors has not changed over the past two decades. One aspect of the debate surrounding their choice is the presence or absence of women and minority faculty role models who could attract female and minority students to a particular major. The authors provide new evidence using micro-data from student records, transcript records, and faculty records from the Colgate University classes of 1988--2000. The authors found role-model effects for women, minorities, and men. The proportion of classes taken with a faculty member “like-you” has a positive effect on the probability that a student will choose that major. These results support the idea that faculty members can exert a role-model effect on women and minority undergraduates.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220480209596461
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 99-124

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:33:y:2002:i:2:p:99-124

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    Cited by:
    1. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2008. "Is the gender gap in school performance affected by the sex of the teacher," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 37-53, February.
    2. Rita van Deuren & Sicco C. Santema, 2012. "How to choose your minor? Decision making variables used in the selection of a minor by undergraduate students from a Dutch university of applied sciences," Working Papers 2012/06, Maastricht School of Management.
    3. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
    4. Carlos J. Asarta & Roger B. Butters & Eric Thompson, 2013. "The Gender Question in Economic Education: Is it the Teacher or the Test?," Working Papers 13-12, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    5. Ann L. Owen, 2010. "Grades, Gender, and Encouragement: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 217-234, June.
    6. Griffith, Amanda L., 2010. "Persistence of women and minorities in STEM field majors: Is it the school that matters?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 911-922, December.
    7. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Jakubson, George H. & Martin, Mirinda L. & Main, Joyce B. & Eisenberg, Thomas, 2012. "Diversifying the faculty across gender lines: Do trustees and administrators matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 9-18.
    8. Cho, Insook, 2012. "The effect of teacher–student gender matching: Evidence from OECD countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 54-67.
    9. Carlos J. Asarta & Roger B. Butters & Andrew Perumal, 2013. "Success in Economics Major: Is it Path Dependent?," Working Papers 13-11, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.

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