Experimental evidence on gender bias in an occupational choice: the role of parents

Last registered on August 25, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Experimental evidence on gender bias in an occupational choice: the role of parents
Initial registration date
August 25, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 25, 2022, 2:25 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Gender occupational segregation, one of the main explanation of gender wage gap (Cortes and Pan, 2018), is still strongly present across most economies. Stagnation of gender inequality in labor markets raise questions. One of them is whether sticky gender norms and inter-generational transmission of these norms affect observed gender differences. We conducted a vignette experiment in which subjects were advising fictional character in a job choice. Characters, as subjects were informed, have already received an advice from a parent or Internet occupational advisor.

We find that subjects are in general more likely to follow an advice , but less likely to advise male-typed offer if the advisor is a parent. Also subjects with more traditional gender norms are less likely to advice risky, competitive and inflexibly, but better paid offers.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Smyk, Magdalena. 2022. "Experimental evidence on gender bias in an occupational choice: the role of parents." AEA RCT Registry. August 25. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7945-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
How often subjects will advice risky, competitive, inflexible job offers taking into account gender of the character, primary advice and who is the advisor
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects were asked to advice a fictional character of a vignette story in a job choice. The vignette introduced gender of the character (Maria vs. John); who already gave her/him an advice (parents vs. online occupation counselor) and the content of the advice (whether the advice was male-typed - more risk and higher payment, more competition and higher payment, less flexibility and higher payment - or female-typed - the opposite). The vignette question was introduced in a willingness-to-pay approach. In each question, subjects were choosing between two offers differing only in remuneration and feature of interest. Risk attribute was described as either `every 8 out of 10 tasks are risky' or `every 2 out of 10 are risky'. Competition was introduced as `premium is paid only to the best worker in a team' or `a premium is equally spread between workers in a team'. Flexibility was described as `full flexibility' or `no flexibility at all'.
Experimental Design Details
There are eight experimental treatments: 2 gender (women or men) x 2 advisors (parents or non-parent) x 2 (male-typed offer or female-typed offer).
Randomization Method
Randomization was provided by the software - survey tool was randomly assigned treatment to a subject from an online pool
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
no clusters planned
Sample size: planned number of observations
1940 (three answers per person)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
640 subjects, 80 subjects per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials