Parental Occupational Choice and Children's Entry into a Stem Field

23 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2019

See all articles by Albert Cheng

Albert Cheng

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Katherine Kopotic

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform; Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

We explore the intergenerational occupational transmission between parents and their children as it pertains to entry into the STEM field. Using the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, we study student’s aspirations to work in a STEM field and eventual STEM education and employment. We show how these patterns change depending on whether the student’s parents work in a STEM field. We find strong effects of parental occupation type on student’s STEM outcomes that are heterogeneous by student gender. High school boys are more likely to aspire to work in STEM if one of their parents do so. By adulthood, both boys and girls have a higher probability of majoring and working in a STEM field if their parents also do, and in this case, estimated effects are stronger for girls despite a lack of effects on high school girls’ aspirations. For girls but not for boys, having a parent working in STEM increases the probability of entering the STEM field in adulthood above and beyond aspirations to enter the STEM field during adolescence.

Keywords: occupational choice, intergenerational occupational transmission; STEM gender gaps

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Albert and Kopotic, Katherine and Zamarro, Gema, Parental Occupational Choice and Children's Entry into a Stem Field (September 2019). EDRE Working Paper No. 2019-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3457307 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3457307

Albert Cheng (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Katherine Kopotic

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/gema_zamarro/

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