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Gender beliefs and planned occupation: high school pupils and their parents

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  • Magdalena Smyk

    () (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE))

Abstract

Psychology and sociology literature suggests that the fact that women are less likely to work in STEM occupations may be caused by gender stereotypes related to differences in math and science abilities. In this study we test whether, particularly parents' beliefs are associated with their children's gender beliefs and with their choices of occupation. We show that the correlation between parents' and children's beliefs is strong. We use High School Longitudinal Study data - survey conducted among US 9th graders, their parents and teachers. Finally, we also test to what extend gender beliefs (parents' and own) correlate with planning to work in STEM fields by high-shool pupils. We find that girls are discouraged (and boys encouraged) by parents believing that boys are better in math and science, and that the effect of parent's beliefs are stronger than the effect of pupils' school achievements in math and science.

Suggested Citation

  • Magdalena Smyk, 2017. "Gender beliefs and planned occupation: high school pupils and their parents," GRAPE Working Papers 3, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:fme:wpaper:3
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    File URL: http://grape.org.pl/WP/3_Smyk_website.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Oguzoglu, Umut & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2016. "Like Father, Like Daughter (Unless There Is a Son): Sibling Sex Composition and Women's STEM Major Choice in College," IZA Discussion Papers 10052, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    4. Prashant Bharadwaj & Giacomo De Giorgi & David Hansen & Christopher Neilson, 2012. "The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries," NBER Working Papers 18464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 210-240, April.
    6. Bharadwaj, Prashant & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Hansen, David & Neilson, Christopher, 2015. "The gender gap in mathematics: evidence from a middle-income country," Staff Reports 721, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender beliefs; choice of occupation; family; STEM; gender occupational segregation;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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