Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/110734
Authors: 
Fricke, Hans
Grogger, Jeff
Steinmayr, Andreas
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 9003
Abstract: 
This study investigates how being exposed to a field of study influences students' major choices. We exploit a natural experiment at a Swiss university where all first-year students face largely the same curriculum before they choose a major. An important component of the first-year curriculum that varies between students involves a multi-term research paper in business, economics, or law. Due to oversubscription of business, the university assigns the field of the paper in a standardized way that is unrelated to student characteristics. We find that being assigned to write in economics raises the probability of majoring in economics by 2.7 percentage points, which amounts to 18 percent of the share of students who major in economics.
Subjects: 
major choice
economics
law
higher education
gender differences
JEL: 
A20
I20
I23
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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