Can Female Doctors Cure the Gender STEMM Gap? Evidence From Exogenously-Assigned General Practitioners
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionReview of Economics and Statistics. 2020. 10.1162/rest_a_00975
We use exogenously-assigned general practitioners to study the effects of female role models on educational outcomes of girls. Girls who are exposed to female GPs are more likely to sort into male-dominated education programs in high school, most notably STEMM. These effects persist as females enter college and select majors. The effects are larger for high-ability girls with low educated mothers, suggesting that female role models improve intergenerational mobility and narrow the gifted gap. This demonstrates that role model effects in education need not involve individuals in the classroom, but can arise due to everyday interactions with medical professionals.