Double Majors: One For Me, One For The Parents?
At least a quarter of college students in the United States graduate with more than one undergraduate major. This paper investigates how students decide on the composition of their paired majors? In other words, whether the majors chosen are substitutes or complements. Since students use both their preferences and their expectations about major-specific outcomes when choosing their majors, I collect innovative data on subjective expectations, drawn from a sample of Northwestern University sophomores. Despite showing substantial heterogeneity in beliefs, the students seem aware of differences across majors and have sensible beliefs about the outcomes. Students believe that their parents are more likely to approve majors associated with high social status and high returns in the labor market. I incorporate the subjective data in a choice model of double majors that also captures the notion of specialization. I find that enjoying the coursework and gaining approval of parents are the most important determinants in the choice of majors. The model estimates reject the hypothesis that students major in one field to pursue their own interests and in another for parents’ approval. Instead, I find that gaining parents’ approval and enjoying a field of study both academically and professionally are outcomes that students feel are important for both majors. However, I do find that students act strategically in their choice of majors by choosing ones that differ in their chances of completion and difficulty and in finding a job upon graduation.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0095-2583Email:
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0095-2583|
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.:
- Adeline Delavande, 2008.
"Measuring revisions to subjective expectations,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 43-82, February.
- repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-376716 is not listed on IDEAS
- Delavande, Adeline, 2005.
"Pill, Patch or Shot? Subjective Expectations and Birth Control Choice,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4856, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Adeline Delavande, 2008. "Pill, Patch, Or Shot? Subjective Expectations And Birth Control Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 999-1042, 08.
- Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004.
"Ability sorting and the returns to college major,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
- Basit Zafar, 2013.
"College Major Choice and the Gender Gap,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
- Lance Lochner, 2007.
"Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 444-460, March.
- Lance Lochner, 2003. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," NBER Working Papers 9474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lance Lochner, 2005. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," 2005 Meeting Papers 452, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Basit Zafar, 2011.
"How Do College Students Form Expectations?,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 301 - 348.
- Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2009.
"Learning about Academic Ability and the College Drop-out Decision,"
NBER Working Papers
14810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2012. "Learning about Academic Ability and the College Dropout Decision," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 707 - 748.
- Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2008. "Learning About Academic Ability and the College Drop-Out Decision," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20086, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
- Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1999.
"Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns,"
University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers
qt3tb6j874, University of California Transportation Center.
- Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1998. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1-2), pages 109-129, November.
- Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1999. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1j6814b3, University of California Transportation Center.
- Del Rossi, Alison F. & Hersch, Joni, 2008. "Double your major, double your return?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 375-386, August.
- Basit Zafar, 2011.
"Can subjective expectations data be used in choice models? evidence on cognitive biases,"
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 520-544, 04.
- Basit Zafar, 2010. "Can subjective expectations data be used in choice models? Evidence on cognitive biases," Staff Reports 454, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:50:y:2012:i:2:p:287-308. 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: (Christopher F. Baum)
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.