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Gender Differences in Education

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  • Pekkarinen, Tuomas

    ()
    (Government Institute for Economic Research, Helsinki)

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    Abstract

    This paper surveys the trends in gender gaps in education, their causes and potential policy implications. I show that female educational attainment has surpassed, or is about to surpass, male educational attainment in most industrialized countries. These gaps reflect male overrepresentation among secondary school drop-outs and female overrepresentation among tertiary education students and graduates. Existing evidence suggests that this pattern is a result of a combination of increasing returns to education and lower female effort costs of education. Widening gender gap in education combined with recent wage and employment polarization will likely lead to widening inequalities and is linked to declining male labor force participation. The paper discusses evidence on educational policies that both widen and reduce gender gaps in educational outcomes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6390.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2012
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in Nordic Economic Policy Review, 2012, 1, 165-197
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6390

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    Related research

    Keywords: test scores; gender differences; education;

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    References

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    1. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2008. "The literacy hour," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1441-1462, June.
    2. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
    3. Peter Fredriksson & Björn Öckert & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2013. "Long-Term Effects of Class Size," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 249-285.
    4. Susan Dynarski, 2008. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 576-610.
    5. Christopher Dougherty, 2005. "Why Are the Returns to Schooling Higher for Women than for Men?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 969-988.
    6. 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.
    7. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2011. "Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-33, April.
    8. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," NBER Working Papers 6051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Trostel, Philip & Walker, Ian & Woolley, Paul, 2002. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for 28 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950–2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2010. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence From Project STAR," NBER Working Papers 16381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Tuomas Pekkarinen, 2008. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: Evidence on the Role of Tracking from a Finnish Quasi-experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 807-825, December.
    14. Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn & Höglin, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2010. "Are boys discriminated in Swedish high schools?," Working Paper Series 2010:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    15. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_034, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    16. Philip Oreopoulos & Daniel Lang & Joshua Angrist, 2009. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 136-63, January.
    17. Gary S. Becker & William J. Hubbard & Kevin Murphy, 2010. "Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women," Working Papers 2010-009, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    18. Brian Jacob & Jens Ludwig, 2008. "Improving Educational Outcomes for Poor Children," NBER Working Papers 14550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. John Van Reenen, 2011. "Wage inequality, technology and trade: 21st Century evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47494, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 97-129, May.
    21. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nadir Altinok & Claude Diebolt & Jean-Luc De Meulemeester, 2012. "A new International Database on Education Quality: 1965-2010," Post-Print halshs-00910062, HAL.
    2. Doris, Aedin & O'Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2012. "Gender, Single-Sex Schooling and Maths Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 6917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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