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Do Single-Sex Classes Affect Exam Scores? An Experiment in a Coeducational University

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  • Alison L. Booth
  • Lina Cardona-Sosa
  • Patrick Nolen

Abstract

We examine the effect of single-sex classes on the pass rates, grades, and course choices of students in a coeducational university. We randomly assign students to all-female, all-male, and coed classes and, therefore, get around the selection issues present in other studies on single-sex education. We find that one hour a week of single-sex education benefits females: females are 7% more likely to pass their first year courses and score 10% higher in their required second year classes than their peers attending coeducational classes. We find no effect of single-sex education on the probability that a female will take technical classes and there is no effect of single-sex education for males. Furthermore we are able to examine potential mechanisms driving the single-sex effect for females. We find that the results are consistent with a reduction in stereotype threat for females and are not due to a potential tracking effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 679.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:679

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Keywords: single-sex; education; gender; experiment;

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Cited by:
  1. Doris, Aedín & O’Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2013. "Gender, single-sex schooling and maths achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 104-119.

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