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Do gender stereotypes reduce girls' or boys' human capital outcomes? Evidence from a natural experiment

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  • Lavy, Victor

Abstract

Schools and teachers are often said to be a source of stereotypes that harm girls. This paper tests for the existence of gender stereotyping and discrimination by public high-school teachers in Israel. It uses a natural experiment based on blind and non-blind scores that students receive on matriculation exams in their senior year. Using data on test results in several subjects in the humanities and sciences, I found, contrary to expectations, that male students face discrimination in each subject. These biases widen the female-male achievement difference because girls outperform boys in all subjects, except English, and at all levels of the curriculum. The bias is evident in all segments of the ability and performance distribution and is robust to various individual controls. Several explanations based on differential behavior between boys and girls are not supported empirically. However, the size of the difference is very sensitive to teachers' characteristics, suggesting that the bias against male students is the result of teachers', and not students', behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10-11 (October)
Pages: 2083-2105

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:10-11:p:2083-2105

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Gender stereotypes Discrimination Natural experiment;

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Cited by:
  1. Nicole Schneeweis & Martina Zweimüller, 2009. "Girls, girls, girls: gender composition and female school choice," Economics working papers 2009-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Stefano Gagliarducci & M. Daniele Paserman, 2012. "Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1021-1052.
  3. Torberg Falch & Linn Renée Naper, 2011. "Educational Evaluation Schemes and Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Working Paper Series 11311, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  4. Lydia Mechtenberg, 2006. "Cheap Talk in the Classroom," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-019, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Amine Ouazad & Lionel Page, 2012. "Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Biases: Experimental Economics in Schools," CEE Discussion Papers 0133, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  6. Zinovyeva, Natalia & Bagues, Manuel F., 2011. "Does Gender Matter for Academic Promotion? Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 5537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Hinnerich, Björn Tyrefors & Höglin, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2011. "Ethnic Discrimination in High School Grading: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 733, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2011.
  8. Maresa Sprietsma, 2013. "Discrimination in grading: experimental evidence from primary school teachers," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 523-538, August.
  9. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  10. Jan Feld & Nicolás Salamanca & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2013. "Endophilia or Exophobia: Beyond Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 19471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "Gender Discrimination and Evaluators’ Gender: Evidence from the Italian Academy," Working Papers 201106, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).

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