Direkt zum Inhalt

16. Mai 2018

Cluster-Seminar Öffentliche Finanzen und Lebenslagen

The effect of exposure to STEM in secondary school on field of study choice


16. Mai 2018
12:30 - 13:30


DIW Berlin im Quartier 110
Room 5.2.010
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


Roxanne Korthals

The choice for a field of study has large consequences on later labor market outcomes. However, in absence of liberal arts and sciences bachelors, field of study choice is often made quite early: either in secondary school or at the start of university. A growing literature shows that information about (direct or indirect through exposure) affects students’ field of study choices. We investigate the effect of a nationwide policy in which some secondary school students receive additional exposure to STEM fields due to an extra STEM instruction time. We use schools which shift into the program over time using school fixed effects. We find that students affected by the policy have lower graduation rates. Further, we find that students affected by the policy are more likely to pursue a softer STEM degree (Health care or Agriculture) and less likely an interdisciplinary degree.