Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Freshmen teachers and college major choice: Evidence from a random assignment in Chile

Karnani, Mohit (2016): Freshmen teachers and college major choice: Evidence from a random assignment in Chile.

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Abstract

We exploit the exogenous characteristic of random freshmen course assignment in a large Chilean university to identify the causal effect of teachers and their qualitative characteristics over students' major choice. Using administrative records, we establish what makes students from the "Commercial Engineering" career chose between an "Economics" major or a "Business" major. We find that first-economic-course teachers may account for 15-22% of the probability of choosing Economics as a major. We also identify which characteristics of these teachers make students more prone to choosing this particular major. These results are robust to the inclusion of different covariates and specifications. Placebo-type falsification tests are performed, confirming our findings.

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