NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Amy Hopson

Bureau of Labor Statistics

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Duke University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2019Equilibrium Grade Inflation with Implications for Female Interest in STEM Majors
with Thomas Ahn, Peter Arcidiacono, James R. Thomas: w26556
Substantial earnings differences exist across majors with the majors that pay well also having lower grades and higher workloads. We show that the harsher grading policies in STEM courses disproportionately affect women. To show this, we estimate a model of student demand courses and optimal effort choices of students conditional on the chosen courses. Instructor grading policies are treated as equilibrium objects that in part depend on student demand for courses. Restrictions on grading policies that equalize average grades across classes helps to close the STEM gender gap as well as increasing overall enrollment in STEM classes.
 
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