IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_6466.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Foreign Peer Effects and STEM Major Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Massimo Anelli
  • Kevin Shih
  • Kevin Williams

Abstract

Since the 1980s the United States has faced growing disinterest and high attrition from STEM majors. Over the same period, foreign-born enrollment in U.S. higher education has increased steadily. This paper examines whether foreign-born peers affect the likelihood American college students graduate with a STEM major. Using administrative student records from a large public university in California, we exploit idiosyncratic variation in the share of foreign peers across introductory math courses taught by the same professor over time. Results indicate that a 1 standard deviation increase in foreign peers reduces the likelihood native-born students graduate with STEM majors by 3 percentage points–equivalent to 3.7 native students displaced for 9 additional foreign students in an average course. STEM displacement is offset by an increased likelihood of choosing Social Science majors. However, the earnings prospects of displaced students are minimally affected as they appear to be choosing Social Science majors with equally high earning power. We demonstrate that comparative advantage and linguistic dissonance may operate as underlying mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Anelli & Kevin Shih & Kevin Williams, 2017. "Foreign Peer Effects and STEM Major Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 6466, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6466
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6466.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Lisa B. Kahn & Jamin D. Speer, 2014. "Trends in Earnings Differentials across College Majors and the Changing Task Composition of Jobs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 387-393, May.
    2. Sacerdote, Bruce, 2011. "Peer Effects in Education: How Might They Work, How Big Are They and How Much Do We Know Thus Far?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.),Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 4, pages 249-277, Elsevier.
    3. George J. Borjas, 2004. "Do Foreign Students Crowd Out Native Students from Graduate Programs?," NBER Working Papers 10349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Timothy M. Diette & Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere, 2014. "Gender and Race Heterogeneity: The Impact of Students with Limited English on Native Students' Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 412-417, May.
    5. Massimo Anelli & Giovanni Peri, 2019. "The Effects of High School Peers’ Gender on College Major, College Performance and Income," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 553-602.
    6. Brunello, Giorgio & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2013. "The effect of immigration on the school performance of natives: Cross country evidence using PISA test scores," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 234-246.
    7. Rosario Maria Ballatore & Margherita Fort & Andrea Ichino, 2018. "Tower of Babel in the Classroom: Immigrants and Natives in Italian Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(4), pages 885-921.
    8. Scott E. Carrell & Mark Hoekstra & Elira Kuka, 2018. "The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(11), pages 3377-3415, November.
    9. Duleep, Harriet & Regets, Mark, 2014. "Should the U.S. Continue Its Family-Friendly Immigration Policy?," IZA Discussion Papers 8406, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Scott E. Carrell & Mark L. Hoekstra, 2010. "Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone's Kids," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 211-228, January.
    11. Kevin Shih, 2016. "Labor Market Openness, H-1b Visa Policy, And The Scale Of International Student Enrollment In The United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 121-138, January.
    12. Altonji, J.G. & Arcidiacono, P. & Maurel, A., 2016. "The Analysis of Field Choice in College and Graduate School," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    13. Diette, Timothy M. & Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2012. "Do Significant Immigrant Inflows Create Negative Education Impacts? Lessons from the North Carolina Public School System," IZA Discussion Papers 6561, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Ransom, Tyler & Winters, John V., 2016. "Do Foreigners Crowd Natives out of STEM Degrees and Occupations? Evidence from the U.S. Immigration Act of 1990," IZA Discussion Papers 9920, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Bet Caeyers & Marcel Fafchamps, 2016. "Exclusion Bias in the Estimation of Peer Effects," NBER Working Papers 22565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Delaney, Judith & Devereux, Paul J., 2019. "It's Not Just for Boys! Understanding Gender Differences in STEM," IZA Discussion Papers 12176, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Frattini, Tommaso & Meschi, Elena, 2019. "The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1-22.
    3. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Furtado, Delia & Xu, Huanan, 2019. "OPT policy changes and foreign born STEM talent in the U.S," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    4. Chevalier, Arnaud & Isphording, Ingo E. & Lisauskaite, Elena, 2019. "Peer Diversity, College Performance and Educational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 12202, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Diyi Li & Cheng Qian & Cory Koedel, 2019. "Non-Resident Postsecondary Enrollment Growth and the Outcomes of In-State Students," Working Papers 1916, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    6. Delaney, Judith M. & Devereux, Paul J., 2019. "Understanding gender differences in STEM: Evidence from college applications✰," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 219-238.
    7. Shih, Kevin, 2017. "Do international students crowd-out or cross-subsidize Americans in higher education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 170-184.
    8. Delaney, Judith & Devereux, Paul J., 2019. "Understanding Gender Differences in STEM: Evidence from College Applications," CEPR Discussion Papers 13558, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Weinstein, Russell, 2017. "Local Labor Markets and Human Capital Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 10598, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; peer effects; higher education; college major; STEM;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6466. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.