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Bridging Education Gender Gaps in Developing Countries: The Role of Female Teachers

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  • Karthik Muralidharan
  • Ketki Sheth

Abstract

We study gender gaps in learning and the effectiveness of female teachers in reducing them using a large, representative, annual panel data set from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. We find a small but significant negative trend in girls’ test scores in both math and language. Using five years of panel data, we find that teachers are more effective at teaching students of their own gender. Female teachers are more effective at teaching girls than male teachers but no worse at teaching boys. Thus, hiring female teachers on the current margin may reduce gender gaps in test scores without hurting boys.

Suggested Citation

  • Karthik Muralidharan & Ketki Sheth, 2016. "Bridging Education Gender Gaps in Developing Countries: The Role of Female Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 269-297.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:51:y:2016:i:2:p:269-297
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.51.2.0813-5901R1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    2. Lucia Nixon & Michael Robinson, 1999. "The educational attainment of young women: Role model effects of female high school faculty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(2), pages 185-194, May.
    3. Prashant Bharadwaj & Giacomo de Giorgi & David Hansen & CHRISTOPHER NEILSON, 2012. "The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Evidence from Low-and-Middle Income Countries," Working Papers id:5155, eSocialSciences.
    4. Karthik Muralidharan & Nishith Prakash, 2017. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 321-350, July.
    5. Prashant Bharadwaj & Giacomo De Giorgi & David Hansen & Christopher Neilson, 2015. "The gender gap in mathematics: evidence from a middle-income country," Staff Reports 721, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. 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).
    7. 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.
    8. Prashant Bharadwaj & Giacomo De Giorgi & David Hansen & Christopher A. Neilson, 2016. "The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Evidence from Chile," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(1), pages 141-166.
    9. Heather Antecol & Ozkan Eren & Serkan Ozbeklik, 2015. "The Effect of Teacher Gender on Student Achievement in Primary School," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 63-89.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaegeum Lim & Jonathan Meer, 2020. "Persistent Effects of Teacher–Student Gender Matches," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(3), pages 809-835.
    2. Hahn, Youjin & Islam, Asadul & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 10674, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Sukanta Bhattacharya & Aparajita Dasgupta & Kumarjit Mandal & Anirban Mukherjee, 2019. "Identity and Learning: a study on the effect of student-teacher gender interaction on student's learning," Working Papers 14, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    4. RenéBöheim & DominikGrübl & MarioLackner, 2017. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(02), pages 13-17, August.
    5. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:19337553 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Barrera-Osorio,Felipe & Blakeslee,David S. & Hoover,Matthew & Linden,Leigh & Raju,Dhushyanth & Ryan,Stephen P., 2017. "Delivering education to the underserved through a public-private partnership program in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8177, The World Bank.
    7. Adriana Lleras-Muney & Matthew Miller & Shuyang Sheng & Veronica T. Sovero, 2020. "Party On: The Labor Market Returns to Social Networks and Socializing," NBER Working Papers 27337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I. & Rintala, Bryson & Wozny, Nathan, 2018. "The Effects of Professor Gender on the Post-Graduation Outcomes of Female Students," IZA Discussion Papers 11820, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Hisanobu Kakizawa, 2017. "The Effects of Student-Teacher Gender Matching on Students f Performance in Junior High Schools in Japan," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-29, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    10. Youjin Hahn & Asadul Islam & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2020. "Friendship and Female Education: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Bangladeshi Primary Schools," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(627), pages 740-764.
    11. 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.
    12. Jieun Lee & Dong-Eun Rhee & Robert Rudolf, 2019. "Teacher Gender, Student Gender, and Primary School Achievement: Evidence from Ten Francophone African Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(4), pages 661-679, April.
    13. Eble, Alex & Hu, Feng, 2020. "Child beliefs, societal beliefs, and teacher-student identity match," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    14. Chandan Jain, 2019. "Analysing Changes in Gender Difference in Learning in Rural India over Time," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 17(4), pages 913-935, December.
    15. Johan Coenen & Ilja Cornelisz & Wim Groot & Henriette Maassen van den Brink & Chris Van Klaveren, 2018. "Teacher Characteristics And Their Effects On Student Test Scores: A Systematic Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 848-877, July.
    16. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:13-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Sukanta Bhattacharya & Aparajita Dasgupta & Kumarjit Mandal & Anirban Mukherjee, 2019. "Identity and Learning: a study on the effect of student-teacher gender interaction on student's learning," Working Papers 1021, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    18. Rakshit, Sonali & Sahoo, Soham, 2020. "Biased Teachers and Gender Gap in Learning Outcomes: Evidence from India," GLO Discussion Paper Series 684, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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