September 2008

IZA DP No. 3711: Nepotism, Incentives and the Academic Success of College Students

Deniz Gevrek, Z. Eylem Gevrek

published in: Labour Economics, 2010, 17 (3), 581-591

This study investigates the role of self-employed parents on their children's post-graduation plans and college success by using a unique data set from a private university in Turkey. We assembled data set by matching college students' administrative records with their responses to a survey we designed. Self-employed parents have a strong negative effect on college success even after accounting for possible ability bias, intergenerational human capital transfers and controlling for various individual characteristics. This suggests that the changing importance of self-employment can alter the amount and mix of human capital flows. The children of self-employed parents are also more likely to have entrepreneurial intent, and are less likely to plan to attend graduate school.