This paper studies how sibling gender composition affects preferences for education within STEM and whether the e?ects on STEM preferences in education persists into labor market outcomes.
– High school academic preparation, faculty gender composition, and major returns have little effect on major switching behaviors, and women and men are equally likely to change their major in response to poor grades in major-related courses.
– Women in male-dominated majors do not exhibit different patterns of switching behaviors relative to their male colleagues.
– Women are more likely to switch out of male-dominated STEM majors in response to poor performance compared to men.
– It takes multiple signals of lack of fit into a major (low grades, gender composition of class, and external stereotyping signals) to impel female students to switch majors.