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

Magdalena Smyk ()

No 3, GRAPE Working Papers from GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics

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.

Keywords: gender beliefs; choice of occupation; family; STEM; gender occupational segregation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 I24 J13 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-gen
Date: 2017
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