American Economic Journal: Applied Economics
no. 3, July 2023
We leverage variation in the adoption of coeducation by US women's colleges to study how exposure to a mixed-gender collegiate environment affects women's human capital investments. Our event-study analyses of newly collected historical data find a 3.0–3.5 percentage point (30–33 percent) decline in the share of women majoring in STEM fields. While coeducation caused a large influx of male peers and a modest increase in male faculty, we find no evidence that it altered the composition of the female student body or other gender-neutral inputs. Extrapolation of our main estimate suggests that coeducational environments explain 36 percent of the current gender gap in STEM majors.
Calkins, Avery, Ariel J. Binder, Dana Shaat, and Brenden Timpe.
"When Sarah Meets Lawrence: The Effects of Coeducation on Women's College Major Choices."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Higher Education; Research Institutions
Returns to Education
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity