Template-Type: ReDIF-Paper 1.0 Series: Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers Creation-Date: 1997-01-28 Number: 97-012/3 Author-Name: Hessel Oosterbeek Author-Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Author-Workplace-Name: University of Amsterdam Author-Name: Dinand Webbink Author-Email: email@example.com Author-Workplace-Name: Erasmus University Rotterdam Title: Is there a Hidden Technical Potential? Abstract: 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.
This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in De Economist 145(2), 159-77. Keywords: allocation of talent, occupational choice, educational choice File-Url: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/97012.pdf File-Format: application/pdf File-Size: 103184 bytes Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19970012