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Gender Performance Gaps: Quasi‐Experimental Evidence On The Role Of Gender Differences In Sleep Cycles

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  • Lester Lusher
  • Vasil Yasenov

Abstract

Sleep studies suggest that girls go to sleep earlier, are more active in the morning, and cope with sleep deprivation better than boys. We provide the first causal evidence on how gender differences in sleep cycles can help explain the gender performance gap. We exploit over 240,000 assignment‐level grades from a quasi‐experiment where students' schedules alternated between morning and afternoon start times each month. Relative to girls, we find that boys' achievement benefits from a later start time. For classes taught at the beginning of the school day, our estimates explain up to 16% of the gender performance gap. (JEL H52, I20, I21)

Suggested Citation

  • Lester Lusher & Vasil Yasenov, 2018. "Gender Performance Gaps: Quasi‐Experimental Evidence On The Role Of Gender Differences In Sleep Cycles," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(1), pages 252-262, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:56:y:2018:i:1:p:252-262
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12483
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edwards, Finley, 2012. "Early to rise? The effect of daily start times on academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 970-983.
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    3. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Jan Feld & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation, and Channels of Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 387-428.
    6. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2008. "Is the gender gap in school performance affected by the sex of the teacher," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 37-53, February.
    7. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "Explaining the Gender Gap in Math Test Scores: The Role of Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 129-144, Spring.
    9. Scott E. Carrell & Teny Maghakian & James E. West, 2011. "A's from Zzzz's? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 62-81, August.
    10. Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "A Professor Like Me: The Influence of Instructor Gender on College Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    11. 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.
    12. Evren Ors & Frédéric Palomino & Eloïc Peyrache, 2013. "Performance Gender Gap: Does Competition Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 443-499.
    13. Jan Feld & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation, and Channels of Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 387-428.
    14. Lusher, Lester & Yasenov, Vasil, 2016. "Double-shift schooling and student success: Quasi-experimental evidence from Europe," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 36-39.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:158-170 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Groen, Jeffrey A. & Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff, 2017. "Snooze or Lose: High School Start Times and Academic Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 11166, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2016. "Biology and Gender in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10386, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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