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Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?

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  • Hunt, Jennifer

Abstract

I use the 1993 and 2003 National Surveys of College Graduates to examine the higher exit rate of women compared to men from science and engineering relative to other fields. I find that the higher relative exit rate is driven by engineering rather than science, and show that 60% of the gap can be explained by the relatively greater exit rate from engineering of women dissatisfied with pay and promotion opportunities. I find that family-related constraints and dissatisfaction with working conditions are only secondary factors. The relative exit rate by gender from engineering does not differ from that of other fields once women's relatively high exit rates from male fields generally are taken into account.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9152.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9152

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Keywords: Engineering; Science; Women;

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References

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  1. Hunt, Jennifer, 2010. "Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial? Distinctions by Entry Visa," IZA Discussion Papers 4745, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Paula Stephan & Sharon Levin, 2005. "Leaving Careers in IT: Gender Differences in Retention," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 383-396, October.
  3. Basit Zafar, 2009. "College major choice and the gender gap," Staff Reports 364, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Jennifer Hunt & Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle, 2008. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," Departmental Working Papers 2008-07, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  5. Nicole M. Fortin, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap among Young Adults in the United States: The Importance of Money versus People," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  6. Hunt, Jennifer & Garant, Jean-Philippe & Herman, Hannah & Munroe, David J., 2012. "Why Don't Women Patent?," IZA Discussion Papers 6886, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Jennifer Hunt, 2010. "Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?," NBER Working Papers 15853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2011. "Math or Science? Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Examine the Process of Choosing a College Major," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20111, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  9. Robst, John, 2007. "Education and job match: The relatedness of college major and work," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 397-407, August.
  10. Preston, Anne E, 1994. "Why Have All the Women Gone? A Study of Exit of Women from the Science and Engineering Professions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1446-62, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Juan J. Dolado & Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Sara De La Rica, 2013. "On Gender Gaps And Self-Fulfilling Expectations: Alternative Implications Of Paid-For Training," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1829-1848, 07.
  2. Jennifer Hunt, 2010. "Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?," NBER Working Papers 15853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lisa D. Cook & Chaleampong Kongcharoen, 2010. "The Idea Gap in Pink and Black," NBER Working Papers 16331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Matthias Krapf & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Christian Zimmermann, 2014. "Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-04, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  5. Hunt, Jennifer & Garant, Jean-Philippe & Herman, Hannah & Munroe, David J., 2013. "Why are women underrepresented amongst patentees?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 831-843.
  6. Hunt, Jennifer & Garant, Jean-Philippe & Herman, Hannah & Munroe, David J., 2012. "Why Don't Women Patent?," IZA Discussion Papers 6886, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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