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Scientifico! like Dad: On the Intergenerational Transmission of STEM Education in Italy


  • Chise, Diana

    (European Central Bank)

  • Fort, Margherita

    (University of Bologna)

  • Monfardini, Chiara

    (University of Bologna)


We provide novel evidence on the existence and the extent of intergenerational transmission of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education using a recent large administrative dataset of Italian graduates obtained from the Almalaurea data. Parental influence on two STEM educational outcomes (high school and university degree completion) is strong and, net of student's time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, proves to be stronger at the stage of the educational career closer to labour market entry. At this stage, the influence of fathers outweighs the one of mothers and is larger for sons than for daughters. The documented STEM intergenerational transmission is not driven by liberal profession of parents for most of STEM fields, while it is for some non-STEM fields (economic and legal studies), consistently with the presence of entry barriers in some professions.

Suggested Citation

  • Chise, Diana & Fort, Margherita & Monfardini, Chiara, 2019. "Scientifico! like Dad: On the Intergenerational Transmission of STEM Education in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 12688, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12688

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Leighton, Margaret & Speer, Jamin D., 2023. "Rich Grad, Poor Grad: Family Background and College Major Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 16099, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item


    parents; intergenerational transmission; gender; STEM;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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