Date of This Version
major choice, model uncertainty, STEM
This paper examines how model uncertainty affects students' choice of major. To account for this uncertainty, the students apply a max-min operator to their optimization problem. We show analytically that greater uncertainty in a particular major causes the student to be less likely to choose that major and that greater uncertainty across all majors causes fewer students to major in science, technology, engineering, and math. To test the model's assumptions and predictions, we have conducted a novel survey of college freshmen. The results from this survey are consistent with assumptions and implications of the theoretical model.
Working Paper Number
Congdon-Hohman, Joshua; Nathan, Anil; and Svec, Justin, "Student Uncertainty and Major Choice" (2013). Economics Department Working Papers. Paper 4.