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

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  • Arcidiacono, Peter

    () (Duke University)

  • Aucejo, Esteban

    () (London School of Economics)

  • Hotz, V. Joseph

    () (Duke University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Arcidiacono, Peter & Aucejo, Esteban & Hotz, V. Joseph, 2013. "University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California," IZA Discussion Papers 7227, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7227
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2017. "Undergraduate Econometrics Instruction: Through Our Classes, Darkly," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 125-144, Spring.
    3. Hill, Andrew J., 2017. "State affirmative action bans and STEM degree completions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 31-40.
    4. 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.
    5. David Sjoquist & John Winters, 2015. "The effect of Georgia’s HOPE scholarship on college major: a focus on STEM," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, December.
    6. De Donato, Andrew & Thomas, James, 2017. "The effects of Greek affiliation on academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 41-51.
    7. Winters, John V., 2014. "STEM graduates, human capital externalities, and wages in the U.S," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 190-198.
    8. Marta De Philippis, 2016. "STEM Graduates and Secondary School Curriculum: Does Early Exposure to Science Matter?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1443, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Peter Arcidiacono & Cory Koedel, 2014. "Race and College Success: Evidence from Missouri," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, pages 20-57.
    10. Salvador Contreras, 2016. "For Economic Advantage or Something Else? A Case for Racial Identification Switching," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, pages 301-323.
    11. John V. Winters, 2017. "Do Native STEM Graduates Increase Innovation? Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Economics Working Paper Series 1714, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    12. Bertoni, Marco & Gibbons, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2017. "School Choice during a Period of Radical School Reform: Evidence from the Academy Programme," IZA Discussion Papers 11162, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Rodney J. Andrews & Scott A. Imberman & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2016. "Recruiting and Supporting Low-Income, High-Achieving Students at Flagship Universities," NBER Working Papers 22260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Landaud, Fanny & Ly, Son-Thierry & Maurin, Eric, 2016. "Competitive Schools and the Gender Gap in the Choice of Field of Study," CEPR Discussion Papers 11411, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Marco Bertoni & Stephen Gibbons & Olmo Silva, 2017. "What’s in a Name? Expectations, Heuristics and Choice During a Period of Radical School Reform," CEP Discussion Papers dp1477, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    16. Peter Arcidiacono & Michael Lovenheim, 2016. "Affirmative Action and the Quality-Fit Trade-Off," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 3-51.
    17. Christopher R. Walters, 2014. "The Demand for Effective Charter Schools," NBER Working Papers 20640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Peter Arcidiacono & Michael Lovenheim, 2016. "Affirmative Action and the Quality-Fit Trade-Off," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 3-51.
    19. Alexis Le Chapelain, 2014. "Market for Education and Student Achievement," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1jgbspo1909, Sciences Po.
    20. Joshua Angrist & David Autor & Sally Hudson & Amanda Pallais, 2014. "Leveling Up: Early Results from a Randomized Evaluation of Post-Secondary Aid," NBER Working Papers 20800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Winters, John V., 2014. "Foreign and Native-Born STEM Graduates and Innovation Intensity in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 8575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Hinrichs, Peter, 2014. "Affirmative action bans and college graduation rates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 43-52.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    STEM majors; minorities; college graduation;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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