Student Uncertainty and Major Choice
AbstractThis paper examines how model uncertainty affects students' choice of major. To account for this uncertainty, the students apply a max-min operator to their optimization problem. We show analytically that greater uncertainty in a particular major causes the student to be less likely to choose that major and that greater uncertainty across all majors causes fewer students to major in science, technology, engineering, and math. To test the model's assumptions and predictions, we have conducted a novel survey of college freshmen. The results from this survey are consistent with assumptions and implications of the theoretical model.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1301.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Fax: (508) 793-3708
Web page: http://www.holycross.edu/departments/economics/website/
More information through EDIRC
Major choice; model uncertainty; STEM;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Richard Dennis, 2007.
"Model uncertainty and monetary policy,"
Working Paper Series
2007-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Richard Dennis, 2008. "Model Uncertainty and Monetary Policy," NCER Working Paper Series 30, National Centre for Econometric Research.
- Richard Dennis, 2008. "Model Uncertainty And Monetary Policy," CAMA Working Papers 2009-04, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
- Price, Joshua, 2010. "The effect of instructor race and gender on student persistence in STEM fields," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 901-910, December.
- Tomasz Strzalecki, 2011.
"Axiomatic Foundations of Multiplier Preferences,"
Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 47-73, 01.
- V. Joseph Hotz & Peter Arcidiacono & Songman Kang, 2010.
"Modeling College Major Choices Using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals,"
10-30, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Arcidiacono, Peter & Hotz, V. Joseph & Kang, Songman, 2010. "Modeling College Major Choices Using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals," IZA Discussion Papers 4738, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Peter Arcidiacono & V. Joseph Hotz & Songman Kang, 2010. "Modeling College Major Choices using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals," NBER Working Papers 15729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert Shimer, 2005.
"The Assignment of Workers to Jobs in an Economy with Coordination Frictions,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 996-1025, October.
- Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Basit Zafar, 2011.
"How Do College Students Form Expectations?,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 301 - 348.
- Anastasios G. Karantounias with Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2009. "Managing expectations and fiscal policy," Working Paper 2009-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Kocherlakota, Narayana & Phelan, Christopher, 2009.
"On the robustness of laissez-faire,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2372-2387, November.
- Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, octubre-d.
- Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002.
"Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major,"
02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Justin Svec, 2010.
"Optimal Fiscal Policy with Robust Control,"
1004, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
- Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2005.
"Recursive robust estimation and control without commitment,"
Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies
2005,28, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
- Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2007. "Recursive robust estimation and control without commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 1-27, September.
- Robert Baumann & Justin Svec, 2013. "The Impact of Political Uncertainty: A Robust Control Approach," Working Papers 1306, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.