Promoting scientific faculties: does it work? Evidence from Italy
The object of this article is to assess the causal impact of promotions policies on students' choice of the field of study. We match the records of the students enrolled in two large universities with the records of the participating schools. Within the participating schools, some students took part in the program, while others did not. We adopted an "exposure" approach in which we define as treated all students of a cohort that were eligible for these activities. We find, on average, a positive and significant effect of the policy on targeted and non-targeted scientific bachelor's degrees and positive cross-treatment effects across subjects. However, if the policy has a considerable influence on male students' choices, it does not appear to have any effect on female students' choices. These findings suggest that the policy helped students in correcting their labor market expectations for graduating in science.
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