IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Media Attention and Choice of Major: Evidence from Anti-Doctor Violence in China


  • Bo, Shiyu
  • Chen, Y. Joy
  • Song, Yan
  • Zhou, Sen


We study the relationship between media attention and major choices by evaluating how newspaper reports on violence against doctors in China deter students from choosing medicine as their college majors. We collect relevant articles from over 1,200 newspapers and combine them with an administrative dataset including the universe of students admitted to Chinese colleges from 2005 to 2011. An additional article on violence against doctors leads to a 0.5 percent decrease in the number of students choosing medicine majors, especially majors training physicians and nurses. Students attending elite colleges and with above-median test scores are more responsive to media attention. Consequently, it significantly reduces the quality of admitted medical students, measured by their entrance exam performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Bo, Shiyu & Chen, Y. Joy & Song, Yan & Zhou, Sen, 2018. "Media Attention and Choice of Major: Evidence from Anti-Doctor Violence in China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 284, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:284

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Claire S. H. Lim & James M. Snyder Jr. & David Strömberg Jr., 2015. "The Judge, the Politician, and the Press: Newspaper Coverage and Criminal Sentencing across Electoral Systems," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 103-135, October.
    2. Jetter, Michael, 2017. "The effect of media attention on terrorism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 32-48.
    3. Jacobsen, Grant D., 2011. "The Al Gore effect: An Inconvenient Truth and voluntary carbon offsets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 67-78, January.
    4. Fricke, Hans & Grogger, Jeffrey & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2018. "Exposure to academic fields and college major choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 199-213.
    5. Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2014. "Addressing antibiotic abuse in China: An experimental audit study," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 39-51.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Media attention; College majors; Occupational choice; Health care;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:284. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.