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Why So Many Children of Doctors Become Doctors: Nepotism vs. Human Capital Transfers

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  • Bernard F. Lentz
  • David N. Laband

Abstract

In this paper we document a statistically significant, marginally greater probability of admittance into (at least one) medical school for children of doctors as compared to children of non-doctors. This fact can plausibly be explained as resulting from nepotism, in various forms, as well as from human capital transfers from first to (would-be) second generation doctors. After controlling for acquired human capital and other attributes of medical school applicants, we cannot reject nepotism as a cause-children of doctors are nearly 14 percent more likely to be admitted into medical school than are comparable nonfollowers.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1989. "Why So Many Children of Doctors Become Doctors: Nepotism vs. Human Capital Transfers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 396-413.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:24:y:1989:i:3:p:396-413
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    1. Richard Burkhauser & Karen Holden & Daniel Myers, 1986. "Marital disruption and poverty: The role of survey procedures in artificially creating poverty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 23(4), pages 621-631, November.
    2. Duncan, Greg J & Gustafsson, Bjorn & Hauser, Richard & Schmauss, Gunther & Messinger, Hans & Muffels, Ruud & Nolan, Brian, 1993. "Poverty Dynamics in Eight Countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(3), pages 215-234.
    3. Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter & Gert G. Wagner, 2001. "The Dynamics of Child Poverty: Britain and Germany Compared," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 233, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Schluter, Christian, 2001. "Why are child poverty rates higher in Britain than in Germany? a longitudinal perspective -working paper-," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-16, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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