Anne Ardila Brenoe

Brown Bag banner

Melbourne Institute Seminar Room
Room 3.15, FBE Building
111 Barry St, Carlton

Melbourne Institute Brown Bag

Title: Sibling Gender Composition and Participation in STEM Education

Abstract: This paper studies the causal impact of sibling gender composition on participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. I focus on a sample of first-born children who all have a younger biological sibling, using rich administrative data on the total Danish population. The randomness of the second-born siblings' gender allows me to estimate the causal effect of having an opposite sex sibling relative to a same sex sibling. The results are robust to family size and show that having a second-born opposite sex sibling makes first-born men more and women less likely to enroll in a STEM program. Although sibling gender composition has no impact on men's probability of actually completing a STEM degree, it has a powerful effect on women's success within these fields: women with a younger brother are eleven percent less likely to complete any field-specific STEM education relative to women with a sister. I provide evidence that parents of mixed sex children gender-specialize their parenting more than parents of same sex children. These findings indicate that the family environment plays in important role for shaping interests in STEM fields.

Presenter: Anne Ardila Brenøe, University of Copenhagen

The program coordinator of these seminars is Jan Kabátek. If you would like to subscribe to the Melbourne Institute Seminar Series email list, please contact Jan.