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The Cost of Acting "Girly": Gender Stereotypes and Educational Choices

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  • Favara, Marta

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper looks at horizontal sex segregation in education as a factor contributing to gender segregation in the labor market. Economic theories fail to explain why women with the same years of schooling and educational attainment as men are under-represented in many technical degrees, which typically lead to better paid occupations. Following Akerlof and Kranton (2000), I research whether gender identity affects boys' and girls' educational choices and when the gendered pattern appears first. Further, I test the hypothesis that single-sex schools attenuate the influence of gender-stereotypes. I use the National Pupil Database, which is a register of all pupils enrolled in state maintained schools in England and I focus on students in lower and upper secondary education. Results from my analysis suggest that gender stereotyping affects educational choices from the age of 14 and this effect is larger for girls than for boys. I also find that attending a sixth-form-single-sex school leads students to a less stereotyped educational choice, after controlling for endogenous self-selection into single-sex schools. This suggests that gender preferences can be modified by the environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7037.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7037

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Keywords: gender segregation; educational choices; gender stereotypes; single-sex schools;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Susanne Link, 2012. "Single-Sex Schooling and Student Performance: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from South Korea," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 146, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  2. Saniter, Nils & Siedler, Thomas, 2014. "The Effects of Occupational Knowledge: Job Information Centers, Educational Choices, and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2011. "Gender and Competition in Adolescence: Task Matter," Research Papers in Economics 2011:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics, revised 08 Mar 2013.
  4. repec:ese:iserwp:2013-15 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "Does Expert Advice Improve Educational Choice?," IZA Discussion Papers 7649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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