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Noncognitive Skills and the Gender Disparities in Test Scores and Teacher Assessments: Evidence from Primary School

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Author Info

  • Christopher Cornwell
  • David B. Mustard
  • Jessica Van Parys

Abstract

Using data from the 1998–99 ECLS-K cohort, we show that the grades awarded by teachers are not aligned with test scores. Girls in every racial category outperform boys on reading tests, while boys score at least as well on math and science tests as girls. However, boys in all racial categories across all subject areas are not represented in grade distributions where their test scores would predict. Boys who perform equally as well as girls on reading, math, and science tests are graded less favorably by their teachers, but this less favorable treatment essentially vanishes when noncognitive skills are taken into account. For some specifications there is evidence of a grade “bonus” for boys with test scores and behavior like their girl counterparts.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/48/1/236
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 48 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 236-264

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:48:y:2013:i:1:p:236-264

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2005. "Is the Gender Gap in School Performance Affected by the Sex of the Teacher?," Working Paper Series 5/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  2. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 210-40, April.
  3. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
  4. Zeman, Klarka & Frenette, Marc, 2007. "Why Are Most University Students Women? Evidence Based on Academic Performance, Study Habits and Parental Influences," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007303e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Goldin, Claudia & Kuziemko, Ilyana & Katz, Lawrence, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Scholarly Articles 2962611, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves, 2009. "Test Scores, Subjective Assessment and Stereotyping of Ethnic Minorities," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/221, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  7. Julian R. Betts & Darlene Morell, 1999. "The Determinants of Undergraduate Grade Point Average: The Relative Importance of Family Background, High School Resources, and Peer Group Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 268-293.
  8. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  9. Loury, Linda Datcher, 2004. "Siblings and gender differences in African-American college attendance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 213-219, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Schils, Trudie, 2014. "Gender Gaps in Primary School Achievement: A Decomposition into Endowments and Returns to IQ and Non-cognitive Factors," IZA Discussion Papers 8201, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Holzer, Harry J. & Dunlop, Erin, 2013. "Just the Facts, Ma'am: Postsecondary Education and Labor Market Outcomes in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 7319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Zavodny, Madeline, 2013. "Does weight affect children's test scores and teacher assessments differently?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 135-145.
  4. Edelman, Peter B. & Holzer, Harry J., 2013. "Connecting the Disconnected: Improving Education and Employment Outcomes Among Disadvantaged Youth," IZA Policy Papers 56, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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