This paper analyzes the determinants of choosing a technical study at university level and of persistence in it. We find that - in the Netherlands - there is a low correlation between the probability of a student choosing a technical study and the probability of persistence in it. This implies that a substantial number of technically talented people choose non-technicalstudies. Especially female students and students from high income families are unlikely to attend a technical study but these students are relatively successful in such studies. A large fraction of these technically talented students are attracted to medical studies and law schools, where they are no more likely to persist in these schools than other medical and lawstudents. This finding is predicted by the tournament model in which rewards are based on relative performance instead of absolute performance.
allocation of talent occupational choice educational choice