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Is there a Hidden Technical Potential?

Author

Listed:
  • Hessel Oosterbeek

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • Dinand Webbink

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the determinants of choosing a technical study at university level and of persistence in it. We find that - in the Netherlands - there is a low correlation between the probability of a student choosing a technical study and the probability of persistence in it. This implies that a substantial number of technically talented people choose non-technicalstudies. Especially female students and students from high income families are unlikely to attend a technical study but these students are relatively successful in such studies. A large fraction of these technically talented students are attracted to medical studies and law schools, where they are no more likely to persist in these schools than other medical and lawstudents. This finding is predicted by the tournament model in which rewards are based on relative performance instead of absolute performance. This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in De Economist 145(2), 159-77.

Suggested Citation

  • Hessel Oosterbeek & Dinand Webbink, 1997. "Is there a Hidden Technical Potential?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-012/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19970012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Barone, Adriana & Nese, Annamaria, 2015. "Body Weight and Gender: Academic Choice and Performance," MPRA Paper 68450, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bas Ter Weel, 2003. "The Structure of Wages in the Netherlands, 1986–98," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(3), pages 361-382, September.
    3. Maarten Cornet & Marieke Rensman, 2001. "The location of R&D in the Netherlands: trends, determinants and policy," CPB Document 14.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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