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Academic performance and single-sex schooling: Evidence from a natural experiment in Switzerland

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  • Eisenkopf, Gerald
  • Hessami, Zohal
  • Fischbacher, Urs
  • Ursprung, Heinrich W.

Abstract

We study the effects of random assignment to coeducational and single-sex classes on the academic performance of female high school students who all face the same curriculum. The students’ academic performance is observed over a time period of up to four years. Our estimation results show that single-sex schooling improves the performance of female students in mathematics. This positive effect is particularly large for female students with high ex-ante ability. An accompanying survey reveals that single-sex schooling also strengthens female students’ self-confidence and renders the self-assessment of their mathematics skills more level-headed.

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  • Eisenkopf, Gerald & Hessami, Zohal & Fischbacher, Urs & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2015. "Academic performance and single-sex schooling: Evidence from a natural experiment in Switzerland," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 123-143.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:115:y:2015:i:c:p:123-143
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.08.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Hahn, Youjin & Islam, Asadul & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 10674, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Oosterbeek, Hessel & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2014. "Gender peer effects in university: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 51-63.
    3. Willi Leibfritz & Rolf Horst Dumke & Albert Müller & Wolfgang Ochel & Michael Reutter & Frank Westermann, 2001. "Finanzpolitik im Spannungsfeld des europäischen Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspaktes : zwischen gesamtwirtschaftlichen Erfordernissen und wirtschafts- und finanzpolitischem Handlungsbedarf," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 5, January.
    4. Alison L. Booth & Lina Cardona-Sosa & Patrick Nolen, 2013. "Do Single-Sex Classes Affect Achievement? A Study in a Coeducational University," Borradores de Economia 787, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    5. Doris, Aedín & O’Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2013. "Gender, single-sex schooling and maths achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 104-119.
    6. Landaud, Fanny & Ly, Son-Thierry & Maurin, Eric, 2016. "Competitive Schools and the Gender Gap in the Choice of Field of Study," CEPR Discussion Papers 11411, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Menshawy Badr, "undated". "School Effects on Educational Attainment in Egypt," Discussion Papers 12/05, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    8. Susanne Link, 2013. "Institutional Determinants of Student Achievement - Microeconometric Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 50, January.
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    10. Paredes, Valentina, 2014. "A teacher like me or a student like me? Role model versus teacher bias effect," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 38-49.
    11. Damiano Pregaldini & Uschi Backes-Gellner & Gerald Eisenkopf, 2018. "Students' Selection and Heterogeneous Effects of Classroom Gender Composition: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0152, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    12. Susanne Link, 2012. "Single-Sex Schooling and Student Performance: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from South Korea," ifo Working Paper Series 146, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    13. Hahn, Youjin & Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz & Islam, Asadul & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Do Friends Improve Female Education? The Case of Bangladesh," CEPR Discussion Papers 11615, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Hugo Ñopo & Jorge Luis Castañeda, 2012. "Equidad en la Diferencia: Políticas para la Movilidad Social de Grupos de Identidad. Misión de Movilidad Social y Equidad," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010319, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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    18. Alessandro Bucciol & Simona Cicognani & Luca Zarri, 2017. "The Status-Enhancing Power of Sociability," Working Paper series 17-15, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    19. Feng, Han & Li, Jiayao, 2016. "Head teachers, peer effects, and student achievement," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 268-283.
    20. Alessandro Bucciol & Simona Cicognani & Luca Zarri, 2017. "The Social Status-Enhancing Power of Social Ties," Working Papers 04/2017, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    21. Dustmann, Christian & Ku, Hyejin & Kwak, Do Won, 2017. "Why Are Single-Sex Schools Successful?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Ximena Peña & Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Hugo Ñopo & Jorge Luis Castañeda, 2013. "Mujer y movilidad social," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010498, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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    Keywords

    Single-sex schooling; Peer effects; Education; Student achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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