High Achieving Men Discourage Women from Entering Quantitative Fields
Laboratory experiments show that women shy away from competition while men seek it out. In this paper, Prof. Zölitz tests how achievement of university peers affects specialization choices of women and men. Exploiting random assignment of students to sections, Prof. Zölitz finds that higher achieving male peers cause women to shy away from more competitive, quantitative fields. The opposite holds for men who become more likely to choose quantitative courses and majors. These results translate into different labor market outcomes. Higher achieving male peers drive women into jobs where they are more satisfied and men into jobs where they earn more.