We exploit the variation in the admissions cutoffs across colleges of a leading Indian university in a regression discontinuity framework to estimate the causal effects of enrolling in a selective college on: cognitive attainment, behavioral preferences, and Big Five personality. We find that enrolling in a selective college improves only females' exam scores. Further, marginally admitted females in selective colleges become less overconfident and less risk averse while males in selective colleges experience a decline in extraversion and conscientiousness. Higher attendance rates among females explain the gender differences in returns to better college and peer environment.
cognitive attainment behavior personality college quality peer effects India