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Do Single-Sex Classes Affect Achievement? A Study in a Coeducational University

Author

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  • Alison L. Booth

    ()

  • Lina Cardona-Sosa

    ()

  • Patrick Nolen

    ()

Abstract

We examine the effect of single-sex classes on the pass rates, grades, and course choices of students in a coeducational university. We randomly assign students to all-female, all-male, and coed classes and, therefore, get around the selection issues present in other studies on single-sex education. We find that one hour a week of single-sex education benefits females: females are 7.5% more likely to pass their first year courses and score 10% higher in their required second year classes than their peers attending coeducational classes. We find no effect of single-sex education on the subsequent probability that a female will take technical classes and there is no effect of single-sex education for males. Furthermore we are able to examine potential mechanisms and indirect effects of single-sex education. We find that the effects of single-sex education do not appear to be driven by a tracking mechanism and that there are indirect effects on class attendance and completion of optional assignments for females. However, the indirect effects cannot explain much of the effect of single-sex education for females.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:787
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2012. "Gender differences in risk behaviour: does nurture matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages 56-78, February.
    2. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2012. "Single-sex schools, student achievement, and course selection: Evidence from rule-based student assignments in Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 173-187.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Scott E. Carrell & James E. West, 2010. "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 409-432, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; single-sex groups; cognitive ability. Classification JEL:C9; C91; C92; J16; J16; J24;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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