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Gender Differences in College Applications: Evidence from the Centralized System in Turkey

  • Saygin, Perihan Ozge

In Turkey, as in many other countries, female students perform better in high school and have higher test scores than males. Nevertheless, men still predominate at highly selective programs that lead to high-paying careers. The gender gap at elite schools is particularly puzzling because college admissions are based entirely on nationwide exam scores. Using detailed administrative data from the centralized college entrance system, I study the impact of gender differences in preferences for programs and schools on the allocation of students to colleges. Controlling for test score and high school attended, I find that females are more likely to apply to lower-ranking schools, whereas males set a higher bar, revealing a higher option value for re-taking the test and applying again next year. I also find that females and males value program attributes differently, with females placing more weight on the distance from home to college, and males placing more weight on program attributes that are likely to lead to better job placements. Together, these differences in willingness to be unassigned and in relative preferences for school attributes can explain much of the gender gap at the most elite programs.

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File URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/32599/1/Saygin_12%2D21.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Mannheim, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12-21.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:32599
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  1. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
  4. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, March.
  5. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
  6. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
  7. Solomon William Polachek, 1978. "Sex differences in college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 31(4), pages 498-508, July.
  8. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Job Search and Impatience," NBER Working Papers 10837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paserman, M. Daniele, 2007. "Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 2834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
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