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Is the Gender Gap in School Performance Affected by the Sex of the Teacher?

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  • Holmlund, Helena

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

  • Sund, Krister

    ()
    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

Abstract

Girls outperform boys in school. We investigate whether the gender performance gap can be attributed to the fact that the teacher profession is female dominated, that is, is there a causal effect on student outcomes from having a same-sex teacher? Using data on uppersecondary school students and their teachers from the municipality of Stockholm, Sweden, we find that the gender performance differential is larger in subjects where the share of female teachers is higher. We argue, however, that this effect can not be interpreted as causal, mainly due to teacher selection into different subjects and nonrandom student-teacher matching. Exploring the fact that teacher turnover and student mobility give rise to variation in teacher’s gender within student and subject, we estimate the effect on student outcomes of changing to a teacher of the same sex. We find no strong support for our initial hypothesis that a same-sex teacher improves student outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Swedish Institute for Social Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 5/2005.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 04 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2005_005

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  1. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  2. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  3. Victor Lavy, 2004. "Do Gender Stereotypes Reduce Girls' Human Capital Outcomes? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1995. "Did teachers' verbal ability and race matter in the 1960s? Coleman revisited," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21, March.
  5. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 158-165, May.
  6. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
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  8. Sara J. Solnick, 1995. "Changes in women's majors from entrance to graduation at women's and coeducational colleges," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 505-514, April.
  9. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 349-383, 07.
  10. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. David Neumark & Rosella Gardecki, 1998. "Women Helping Women? Role Model and Mentoring Effects on Female Ph.D. Students in Economics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 220-246.
  13. Donna S. Rothstein, 1995. "Do female faculty influence female students' educational and labor market attainments?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 515-530, April.
  14. Karen E. Dynan & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1997. "The Underrepresentation of Women in Economics: A Study of Undergraduate Economics Students," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 350-368, December.
  15. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
  16. 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.
  17. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
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