Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar
Lucia Corno

Parents and Peers: Gender stereotypes in the choice of field

Lucia Corno, Associate Professor of Economics at Cattolica University
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Webinar streamed via Zoom

The Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar is the Economics department's weekly seminar, featuring external speakers in all areas of economics.

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As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Lucia Corno, Associate Professor of Economics at Cattolica University.

She will present her paper Parents and Peers: Gender stereotypes in the choice of field, coauthored with Michela Carlana. 

Abstract: Fields of study are still strongly gender-segregated in most countries and contexts. In this paper, we study the role of parents and peers in affecting gender stereotypical choices of students. Using a lab-in-the-field experiment, we randomly expose students to different sets of information before they choose among a female-typed task (literature) and male-typed task (math). First, we find that students conform more to the gender stereotypical choice (boys- math and girls- literature) when they are induced to think about the same-gender parents, especially when they believe their parents would recommend a gender-stereotypical choice. Second, we do not find evidence that students change their decision when they expect their classmates to observe their choice. However, if female students are aware they will have to interact with classmates choosing the same subject, they shy away from a male-typed field where they would be a minority. This experiment highlights the important role of parents and interaction with peers in adolescents’ decision making regarding the choice of field.


About the speaker

Lucia Corno is the Executive Director of the Laboratory for Effective Anti-poverty Policies (LEAP) at Bocconi University. She is a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, CEPR, and a research associate at the Institute of Fiscal Studies, IFS. Her fields of interests are Development Economics, Health Economics and Public Economics. Most of her research focuses on understanding constraints for economic development in Africa, combining traditional empirical/theoretical analysis and randomized field experiments.