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Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?

  • Hunt, Jennifer

    ()

    (Rutgers University)

I use the 1993 and 2003 National Surveys of College Graduates to examine the higher exit rate of women compared to men from science and engineering relative to other fields. I find that the higher relative exit rate is driven by engineering rather than science, and show that 60% of the gap can be explained by the relatively greater exit rate from engineering of women dissatisfied with pay and promotion opportunities. I find that family-related constraints and dissatisfaction with working conditions are only secondary factors. The relative exit rate by gender from engineering does not differ from that of other fields once women's relatively high exit rates from male fields generally are taken into account.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6885.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6885
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  1. Hunt, Jennifer & Gauthier-Loiselle, Marjolaine, 2009. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," IZA Discussion Papers 3921, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Garant, Jean-Philippe & Herman, Hannah & Hunt, Jennifer & Munroe, David, 2012. "Why Don't Women Patent?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9185, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jennifer Hunt, 2009. "Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial? Distinctions by Entry Visa," NBER Working Papers 14920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hunt, Jennifer, 2012. "Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9152, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Basit Zafar, 2013. "College Major Choice and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
  6. Robst, John, 2007. "Education and job match: The relatedness of college major and work," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 397-407, August.
  7. Nicole M. Fortin, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap among Young Adults in the United States: The Importance of Money versus People," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  8. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2011. "Math or Science? Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Examine the Process of Choosing a College Major," NBER Working Papers 16869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paula Stephan & Sharon Levin, 2005. "Leaving Careers in IT: Gender Differences in Retention," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 383-396, October.
  10. Preston, Anne E, 1994. "Why Have All the Women Gone? A Study of Exit of Women from the Science and Engineering Professions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1446-62, December.
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