A new GLO Discussion Paper details the gender gap in Economics among bachelor’s and master’s graduates in Italy between 2010 and 2019.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 995, 2021
Adams and Eves: The Gender Gap in Economics Majors – Download PDF
by Bertocchi, Graziella & Bonacini, Luca & Murat, Marina
GLO Fellows Graziella Bertocchi, Luca Bonacini & Marina Murat
Author Abstract: We investigate the gender gap in Economics among bachelor’s and master’s graduates in Italy between 2010 and 2019. First we establish that being female exerts a negative impact on the choice to major in Economics: at the bachelor level, only 73 women graduate in Economics for every 100 men, with the mathematical content of high school curricula as the key driver of the effect and a persistence of the gap at the master level. Second, within a full menu of major choices, Economics displays the largest gap, followed by STEM and then Business Economics. Third, decomposition analyses expose a unique role for the math background in driving the Economics gender gap relative to other fields. Fourth, a triple difference analysis of a high school reform shows that an increase in the math content of traditionally low math curricula caused an increase in the Economics gender gap among treated students.
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