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Gender and Student Achievement in English Schools

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  • Stephen Machin
  • Sandra McNally

Abstract

The widening gap between the average educational achievement of boys and girls has been the subject of much discussion. This gap is especially controversial for students taking national exams at the end of their compulsory education. However, the gender gap is also apparent at earlier and at later stages of education. In this paper, we analyse changes over time in the gender achievement gap at the different stages of compulsory education. We first use a combination of data sources to paint a picture of how gender gaps have evolved over time and in what context they are most marked. Then we consider possible explanations for the observed gender gaps. We look at the relevance of school inputs, teaching practice and the examination system for explaining the gender gap. We also discuss the potential influence of wider social and economic changes as reflected, for example, in the much higher education of mothers relative to those of previous generations. Analysis of this issue is important in the context of research on the gender wage gap. However, it is also raises policy-relevant issues in relation to whether changes in the school system can effect a change in the gender gap in educational achievement.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally, 2006. "Gender and Student Achievement in English Schools," CEE Discussion Papers 0058, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0058
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    Cited by:

    1. Puhani, Patrick, 2015. "Do Boys Benefit from Male Teachers in Elementary School? Evidence from Administrative Panel Data," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113167, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Tuomas Pekkarinen, 2008. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: Evidence on the Role of Tracking from a Finnish Quasi-experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 807-825, December.
    3. Nadir Altinok & Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2015. "The Unfolding of Gender Gap in Education," Working Papers halshs-01204805, HAL.
    4. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2014. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," CESifo Working Paper Series 4815, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2008. "The literacy hour," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1441-1462, June.
    6. Ammermüller, Andreas & Dolton, Peter J., 2006. "Pupil-teacher gender interaction effects on scholastic outcomes in England and the USA," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Ouazad, Amine & Page, Lionel, 2013. "Students' perceptions of teacher biases: Experimental economics in schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 116-130.
    8. 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.
    9. Proud, S., 2014. "Girl Power? An Analysis Of Peer Effects Using Exogenous Changes In The Gender Make-Up Of The Peer Group," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(3), pages 5-18.
    10. repec:cep:sticas:/118 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Steve Bradley & Jim Taylor, 2010. "Diversity, Choice and the Quasi-market: An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Education Policy in England," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(1), pages 1-26, February.
    12. Tatiana Damjanovic & Geethanjali Selvaretnam, 2015. "Economic Growth and Evolution of Gender Equality," Working Papers 2015_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    13. Lai, Fang, 2010. "Are boys left behind? The evolution of the gender achievement gap in Beijing's middle schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 383-399, June.
    14. Holford, Angus, 2015. "Youth employment and academic performance: production functions and policy effects," ISER Working Paper Series 2015-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    15. Robert Cassen & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2007. "Understanding low achievement in English schools," CASE Papers case118, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    16. Belfield, Chris & Boneva, Teodora & Rauh, Christopher & Shaw, Jonathan, 2016. "Money or Fun? Why Students Want to Pursue Further Education," IZA Discussion Papers 10136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Raymundo M. Campos Vázquez & Alma S. Santillán Hernández, 2016. "Análisis de diferencias en puntajes en la prueba ENLACE entre niños y niñas en el sistema escolar mexicano," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 31(1), pages 65-123.
    18. Daniel Suryadarma, 2010. "Labor Market Returns, Marriage Opportunities, or the Education System? Explaining Gender Differences in Numeracy in Indonesia," CEPR Discussion Papers 644, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    19. Leão Fernandes, Graça & Chagas Lopes, Margarida, 2008. "ISEG Undergraduate Students: Determinants of Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 22082, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Kimura, Marlies & Ochsen, Carsten, 2014. "Student assessment and grade retention: evidence from a natural experiment," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100546, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. J Taylor & S Bradley & G Migali, 2009. "The distributional impact of increased school resources: the Specialist Schools Initiative and the Excellence in Cities Programme," Working Papers 602528, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    22. Falch, Torberg & Naper, Linn Renée, 2013. "Educational evaluation schemes and gender gaps in student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 12-25.
    23. Robert Cassen & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2007. "Understanding low achievement in English schools," CASE Papers case118, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.

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    Keywords

    Gender; Educational Achievement;

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