College Major Choice and the Gender Gap
Using data from Northwestern University sophomores that contains their subjective expectations about choice-specific outcomes, a model is created where majors are chosen under uncertainty. For both genders, enjoying coursework and gaining parents’ approval are the most important determinants. However, males care much more about the pecuniary outcomes in the workplace than do females. The gender gap is mainly due to gender differences in preferences and tastes, and not because females are under-confident about their academic ability or fear monetary discrimination.