The Gender Question in Economic Education: Is it the Teacher or the Test?
One of the most persistent, and controversial, empirical regularities in economic education research is the significant difference between the test scores of male and female students. Several possible explanations for this “Gender Gap” are well documented in the literature. Using a large sample of test scores from the Test of Economic Literacy (TEL), we seek to determine whether gender role-model effects influence these differentials or whether it is the result of biased testing materials. A model employing an educational production function exhibits no evidence of role-model effects for our two student cohorts, although some students perform better when taught by female teachers. We find no evidence to support the claim that the testing instrument is biased, and conclude that the gender gap observed in our data is not attributable to the teacher or the test.
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