Determinants of Inventorship: Family Environment and Parental Forces

Myriam Mariani, Karin Hoisl, H.C. Kongsted

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


With registry data on 1.4 million individuals in Denmark born 1966-1985, we document large differences between genders in their propensities to become inventors. We also show that parental resources and background predict children’s choices of high school track and field of tertiary education, and through them they affect the probability to become an inventor. These factors benefit boys disproportionately more than girls, causing at least part of the gender gap in science and innovation. Parental inventorship matters for children to transition into the inventive job, over and above their educational trajectories, but only for boys. By focusing on a sample of first-born girls and exploiting the randomness of the gender of their second-born sibling, we investigate the mechanisms that likely drive these asymmetric effects. While role models and parental specialization seem to drive the educational choices of children, the effect of parental inventorship that benefits mostly boys is likely because parents anticipate girls to be confronted with a “men’s job”. Thus, to raise the share of women inventors, in addition to further women’s enrolment into STEM, we need to change the threat of this profession being a male kingdom.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonia Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021: Bringing the Manager Back in Management - Online, Virtual, Online
Duration: 29 Jul 20214 Aug 2021
Conference number: 81


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

Cite this