Promoting scientific faculties: Does it work? Evidence from Italy
In reaction to the OECD-wide declining trend in scientific enrollments, the Italian government launched a policy in 2005 to promote the study of science at the university. The policy promoted extra-curricular activities for secondary school students in Chemistry, Physics, Math and Materials Science. This article evaluates the policy impact on students’ choice of the field of study. We use an intention to treat effect and administrative data on enrollment at two Italian universities. The findings indicate that the probability of enrolling in a scientific track increases by 3% for males. We find no effect for females. Participating in activities in Math increases the probability of enrolling in Physics and vice versa. The treatment had also a positive impact on enrollments in Pharmacy. The results suggest that the policy was successful in correcting the labour market expectations of male students.
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