Parental expectations and occupational preferences of adolescents

Last registered on June 29, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Parental expectations and occupational preferences of adolescents
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009673
Initial registration date
June 28, 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
June 29, 2022, 3:23 PM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
ifo Institut, Munich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-06-28
End date
2023-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Parental decisions regarding education and occupation pathways are often predictive of children’s outcomes, leading to intergenerational persistence in labor market outcomes. We survey adolescents aged 14-17 as well as their parents to study the role of information and parental expectations for adolescents’ occupation choice. For that purpose, we first elicit information on parents’ occupations and their occupation recommendations for their adolescent child. We then inform a randomly selected subgroup of adolescent respondents about their parents’ answers to study the effect of information on adolescents’ occupation preferences.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Werner, Katharina. 2022. "Parental expectations and occupational preferences of adolescents." AEA RCT Registry. June 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9673
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Participants will answer our survey questions via an online platform. First, parents will provide information on their current occupation, the current occupation of their adolescent child’s other parent (if applicable) as well as their preferences regarding their child’s occupation choice. Subsequently, their adolescent child will be randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups. Two of the groups (treatment groups) will receive information about their parent’s answers, while the third group constitutes a control group. Lastly, parents will receive income information in a follow-up survey that will take place about a week after the main survey.

We first ask parents about the current parental occupations or the last parental occupations in case they are not currently employed. We then ask parents whether they consent to sharing their answers with their adolescent child. Second, we ask parents how likely they would be to recommend parental occupations to their children. Again, parents are asked whether they consent to sharing this answer with their child.

Adolescents in the first treatment group receive information on the average income in parental occupations. If parental consent is obtained, adolescents in the second treatment group receive information on their parent’s answers on how highly they would recommend the parental occupation to them. Adolescents in the control group receive no information on their parents’ answers.
Intervention Start Date
2022-06-28
Intervention End Date
2022-08-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome is adolescents’ perceived likelihood to work in parents’ occupation.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The outcome question on the perceived likelihood to work in parents’ occupation is the following:
“What do you think, how likely is it that you would at some point work in the same occupation as your [mother/father]?”
Answers to this question can be given on a sliding scale labelled “Very unlikely” on the one end and “Very likely” on the other end.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We are further interested in (i) parents’ recommendation of parental occupations for their children, also by average income of the occupation and education level, (ii) adolescents’ prior beliefs about parental recommendation of parental occupations for them, again by average income of the occupation and education level, and (iii) adolescents’ aspired education level and job characteristics.

We will also explore heterogeneities by adolescents’ prior beliefs regarding parental occupations, as well as adolescents’ and parents’ education.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The question on the parents’ recommendation of parental occupation for their child is worded as follows:
“Would you recommend to your child to work in your occupation?” and “Would you recommend to your child to work in the occupation of [non-responding parent]?”
Answers to these questions can be given on a sliding scale labelled “Completely recommend” on one end and “Not at all recommend” on the other end.

After given their answer, respondents are prompted to detail “Why would you recommend your occupation to your child or advise against your occupation?” and “Why would you recommend or advise against the occupation of [non-responding parent] to your child?”

Answers to these questions can be given as free text.

The question on adolescents’ beliefs about the likelihood of parental recommendation for parent occupations is worded as follows:
“What do you think, how likely is it that your [responding parent] would recommend for you to work in the following occupations:
- Occupation of your mother
- Occupation of your father”

Answers to these questions can be given on a sliding scale labelled “Very unlikely” on one end and “Very likely” on the other end.

The question on the mode education level in adolescents’ aspired occupation is worded as follows:

“What education do people who work in [aspired occupation] usually have? Here we are referring to the education that most people who work in this occupation have.”

Answers to this question are single choice of “no vocational qualification”, “a vocational education degree”, “an advanced vocational education degree”, “a university of applied science degree”, and “a university degree”.

The question on adolescents’ expected job characteristics in their aspired occupation is worded as follows:

“How important would the following characteristics be for you when choosing your future occupation?”
“The occupation offers me…
- High income
- Flexible work schedule
- Rarely working overtime
- Pleasant work environment
- High job security, i.e a low risk of termination
- Interesting tasks”
Answers can be given on a 4-point scale labelled “not at all important”, “rather not important”, “rather important” and “very important”.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conduct the experiment in a sample of parents and their adolescent child aged 14 to 17. The recruitment and polling is managed by a survey company, who collects the data via an online platform. That is, our participants answer the survey questions autonomously on their own digital devices. Randomization is carried out by the survey company at the individual level, using a computer. Randomization in treatment and control groups is independent across adolescents and parents.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is carried out by the survey company using a computer.
Randomization Unit
at the individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2,000 respondents
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,000 parents and 2,000 adolescents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Adolescents in three treatment arms with equal probability
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
none
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Commission, Department of Economics, University of Munich
IRB Approval Date
2022-06-28
IRB Approval Number
2022-2