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Shannon Breske, Cory Koedel and Eric Parsons
''Field interest and the choice of college major''
( 2023, Vol. 43 No.2 )
We perform exploratory research to understand the importance of interest in the field of study as a determinant of college major choice and examine how the importance of interest varies by student demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. We show that women, White students, and students from advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds rate interest as a more important factor in driving the choice of college major relative to other students. The gender gap in the importance of interest is largest. Gaps by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status are less pronounced but still large.
Keywords: college major choice; major choice; postsecondary gender gaps; STEM degrees; STEM human capital; STEM gender gap; race gaps in major choice; SES gaps in major choice; major choice interventions
JEL: I2 - Education: General
J1 - Demographic Economics: General
Manuscript Received : Aug 31 2022 Manuscript Accepted : Jun 30 2023

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