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University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California

  • Arcidiacono, Peter

    ()

    (Duke University)

  • Aucejo, Esteban

    ()

    (London School of Economics)

  • Hotz, V. Joseph

    ()

    (Duke University)

The low number of college graduates with science degrees – particularly among under-represented minorities – is of growing concern. We examine differences across universities in graduating students in different fields. Using student-level data on the University of California system during a period in which racial preferences were in place, we show significant sorting into majors based on academic preparation, with science majors at each campus having on average stronger credentials than their non-science counterparts. Students with relatively weaker academic preparation are significantly more likely to leave the sciences and take longer to graduate at each campus. We show the vast majority of minority students would be more likely to graduate with a science degree and graduate in less time had they attended a lower ranked university. Similar results do not apply for non-minority students.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7227.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7227
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  1. Kevin M. Stange, 2013. "Differential Pricing in Undergraduate Education: Effects on Degree Production by Field," NBER Working Papers 19183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Peter Arcidiacono & V. Joseph Hotz & Songman Kang, 2010. "Modeling College Major Choices using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals," NBER Working Papers 15729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, . "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4bafb729911e486baf90b34c9, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. Ben Backes, 2012. "Do Affirmative Action Bans Lower Minority College Enrollment and Attainment?: Evidence from Statewide Bans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 435-455.
  5. Marc Luppino & Richard Sander, 2015. "College major peer effects and attrition from the sciences," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, December.
  6. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2015. "Determinants of College Major Choice: Identification using an Information Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 791-824.
  7. Caroline Hoxby & Christopher Avery, 2013. "The Missing "One-Offs": The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 1-65.
  8. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
  9. Philip Oreopoulos & Uros Petronijevic, 2013. "Making College Worth It: A Review of Research on the Returns to Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 19053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban M. Aucejo & Hanming Fang & Kenneth I. Spenner, 2010. "Does Affirmative Action Lead to Mismatch? A New Test and Evidence," Working Papers 10-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  11. Kate Antonovics & Ben Backes, 2014. "The Effect of Banning Affirmative Action on College Admissions Policies and Student Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 295-322.
  12. John P. Conley & Ali Sina Onder, 2014. "The Research Productivity of New PhDs in Economics: The Surprisingly High Non-success of the Successful," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 205-16, Summer.
  13. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long & Philip Oreopoulos & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2009. "The Role of Simplification and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Arcidiacono, Peter & Aucejo, Esteban & Coate, Patrick & Hotz, V. Joseph, 2/11. "Affirmative Action and University Fit: Evidence from Proposition 209," IZA Discussion Papers 7000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. David L. Sjoquist & John V. Winters, 2015. "State Merit Aid Programs and College Major: A Focus on STEM," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 973 - 1006.
  16. Arcidiacono, Peter & Khan, Shakeeb & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2011. "Representation versus assimilation: How do preferences in college admissions affect social interactions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 1-15.
  17. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  18. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2014. "A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 426-472.
  19. Andrew Rendall & Michelle Rendall, 2014. "Math matters: education choices and wage inequality," ECON - Working Papers 160, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  20. Kate L. Antonovics & Richard H. Sander, 2013. "Affirmative Action Bans and the "Chilling Effect"," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 252-299.
  21. Stacy B. Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2014. "Estimating the Effects of College Characteristics over the Career Using Administrative Earnings Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 323-358.
  22. Peter Hinrichs, 2012. "The Effects of Affirmative Action Bans on College Enrollment, Educational Attainment, and the Demographic Composition of Universities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 712-722, August.
  23. 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.
  24. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban Aucejo & Ken Spenner, 2012. "What happens after enrollment? An analysis of the time path of racial differences in GPA and major choice," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
  25. Peter Arcidiacono, 2005. "Affirmative Action in Higher Education: How Do Admission and Financial Aid Rules Affect Future Earnings?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1477-1524, 09.
  26. Hinrichs, Peter, 2014. "Affirmative action bans and college graduation rates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 43-52.
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