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Standard economic models tend to be more specific about pecuniary payoffs than nonpecuniary payoffs to education. Based on the ideas of Akerlof and Kranton, we consider a model of career choice and identity where individuals derive nonpecuniary identity payoffs. Using factor analysis on a range of attitude questions, we find two factors related to identity (career orientation and social orientation), which are important for planned educational choices and for observed gender differences. The implication is that policy makers and institutions of higher education need to focus on identity-related issues rather than just improved financial incentives if they aim at attracting high-ability youths to certain careers. (JEL I21, J24)