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The gender gap in college major choice in Chile

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  • Bordón, Paola
  • Canals, Catalina
  • Mizala, Alejandra

Abstract

This paper studies gender differences in college applications in Chile. We use the revealed preferences of students for college major choice by taking advantage of Chile’s Centralized Admission System, and estimate a nested logit model to predict the first preference of applicants. We find that males apply to selective programs even when they are marginal candidates, while equally qualified female candidates tend to apply less often to these programs. Using counterfactual exercises, we conclude that to successfully address the gender gap, along with promoting females’ participation in STEM careers, we must increase males’ willingness to consider non-STEM fields. Closing the gender gap does not imply a loss in terms of talent distribution by area of knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Bordón, Paola & Canals, Catalina & Mizala, Alejandra, 2020. "The gender gap in college major choice in Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:77:y:2020:i:c:s0272775719304698
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2020.102011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender gap; Gender preferences; College major choice; Nested logit;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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