Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

College Major Choice and Ability: Why is General Ability not Enough?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Tjasa Loga
  • Saso Polanec

Abstract

The choice of college major is one of the most important decisions students make. In this paper we study the impact of ability on college major choice,using a data set for full-time students enrolled in four-year business and economics programs offered by the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. We distinguish between general and major-specific ability, which measure different dimensions of cognitive ability. We show that both measures are important in explaining individual decisions and that misleading results can follow from observing only commonly employed general ability. We also find important gender differences as males are more likely to base their major choice on the ability to complete coursework, while females are more likely to decide according to unobserved preferences.

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.econ.kuleuven.be/licos/publications/dp/dp274.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 27411.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:27411

Contact details of provider:
Postal: De Bériotstraat 34, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: +32 (0) 16 / 32 6598
Fax: +32 (0) 16 / 32 6599
Email:
Web page: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: College Majors; Ability; Gender Differences;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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. 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.
  2. Timothy Richards, 2007. "A nested logit model of strategic promotion," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 63-91, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Kathy Cannings & Sophie Mahseredjian & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "How Do Young People Choose College Majors ?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-38, CIRANO.
  5. Basit Zafar, 2009. "College major choice and the gender gap," Staff Reports 364, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Hausman, Jerry & McFadden, Daniel, 1984. "Specification Tests for the Multinomial Logit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1219-40, September.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Charles Brown & Mary Corcoran, 1996. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male/Female Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 5580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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. 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.
  17. 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.
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:lic:licosd:27411. 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: ().

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.