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Women and STEM

Author

Listed:
  • Shulamit Kahn
  • Donna Ginther

Abstract

Researchers from economics, sociology, psychology, and other disciplines have studied the persistent under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This chapter summarizes this research. We argue that women’s under-representation is concentrated in the math-intensive science fields of geosciences, engineering, economics, math/computer science and physical science. Our analysis concentrates on the environmental factors that influence ability, preferences, and the rewards for those choices. We examine how gendered stereotypes, culture, role models, competition, risk aversion, and interests contribute to gender STEM gap, starting at childhood, solidifying by middle school, and affecting women and men as they progress through school, higher education, and into the labor market. Our results are consistent with preferences and psychological explanations for the under-representation of women in math-intensive STEM fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Shulamit Kahn & Donna Ginther, 2017. "Women and STEM," NBER Working Papers 23525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23525
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Bell & Raj Chetty & Xavier Jaravel & Neviana Petkova & John Van Reenen, 2017. "Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1519, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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