Family Spillovers in Field of Study
This paper estimates peer effects both from older to younger siblings and from parents to children in academic fields of study. Our setting is secondary school in Sweden, where admissions to oversubscribed fields is determined based on a student's GPA. Using an RD design, we find strong spillovers in field choices that depend on the gender mix of siblings and whether the field is gender conforming. There are also large intergenerational effects from fathers and mothers to sons, except in female-dominated fields, but little effect for daughters. These spillovers have long-term consequences for occupational segregation and wage gaps by gender.
We thank colleagues and seminar participants at several universities and conferences for valuable feedback and suggestions. We are grateful to Hans Eric Ohlson at Statistics Sweden for help in locating and accessing the data. The project received generous financial support from the Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.