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Muriel Niederle, Professor of Economics, Stanford
Gender differences in education choices are persistent, with females being much less likely to choose STEM fields than males. What, if any, is the role of gender differences in psychological attributes that have received a lot of attention in the behavioral/experimental literature, such a attitudes toward competition, in accounting for this gap? In this paper we show that competitiveness is predictive of education choices of students. Furthermore, gender differences in competitiveness account for roughly 20 percent of the gender gap in education choices.
Co-sponsored by the Program on Negotiation, HLS