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The Gender Question in Economic Education: Is it the Teacher or the Test?

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  • CARLOS J. ASARTA

    ()
    (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

  • ROGER B. BUTTERS

    ()
    (Department of Economics,University of Nebraska)

  • ERIC THOMPSON

    ()
    (Department of Economics,University of Nebraska)

Abstract

One of the most persistent, and controversial, empirical regularities in economic education research is the significant difference between the test scores of male and female students. Several possible explanations for this “Gender Gap” are well documented in the literature. Using a large sample of test scores from the Test of Economic Literacy (TEL), we seek to determine whether gender role-model effects influence these differentials or whether it is the result of biased testing materials. A model employing an educational production function exhibits no evidence of role-model effects for our two student cohorts, although some students perform better when taught by female teachers. We find no evidence to support the claim that the testing instrument is biased, and conclude that the gender gap observed in our data is not attributable to the teacher or the test.

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File URL: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2013/UDWP13-12.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13-12.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:13-12.

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Postal: Purnell Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716
Phone: (302) 831-2565
Fax: (302) 831-6968
Web page: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/departments/economics/department-economics/
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Keywords: Gender; Education; Assessment; Economics; K-12;

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  1. Butters, Roger & Asarta, Carlos & Thompson, Eric C., 2013. "The Production of Economic Knowledge in Urban and Rural Areas: The Role of Student, Teacher, and School Characteristics," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 45(01), February.
  2. Kevin N. Rask & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 2002. "Are Faculty Role Models? Evidence from Major Choice in an Undergraduate Institution," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 99-124, June.
  3. Roger B. Butters & Carlos J. Asarta, 2011. "A Survey of Economic Understanding in U.S. High Schools," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 200-205, June.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett & Dean M. Maki, 1997. "Education and Saving: The Long-Term Effects of High School Financial Curriculum Mandates," Working Papers 97012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  5. William B. Walstad & Ken Rebeck, 2001. "Assessing the Economic Understanding of U.S. High School Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 452-457, May.
  6. Kurtis J. Swope & Pamela M. Schmitt, 2006. "The Performance of Economics Graduates over the Entire Curriculum: The Determinants of Success," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 387-394, October.
  7. Lopus, Jane S & Maxwell, Nan L, 1995. "Teaching Tools: Should We Teach Microeconomic Principles before Macroeconomic Principles?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 336-50, April.
  8. John Ashworth & J. Lynne Evans, 2001. "Modeling Student Subject Choice at Secondary and Tertiary Level: A Cross-Section Study," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 311-320, January.
  9. William B. Walstad & Ken Rebeck, 2008. "The Test of Understanding of College Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 547-51, May.
  10. Ferber, Marianne A, 1995. "The Study of Economics: A Feminist Critique," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 357-61, May.
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