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Teaching Accreditation Exams Reveal Grading Biases Favor Women in Male-Dominated Disciplines in France

Author

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  • Breda, Thomas

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Hillion, Melina

    () (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

Discrimination against women is seen as one of the possible causes behind their underrepresentation in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. We show that this is not the case at the competitive exams used to recruit almost all French secondary and postsecondary teachers and professors. Comparisons of oral non gender-blind tests with written gender-blind tests for about 100,000 individuals observed in 11 different fields over the period 2006-2013 reveal a bias in favor of women that is strongly increasing with the extent of a field's male-domination. This bias turns from 3 to 5 percentile ranks for men in literature and foreign languages to about 10 percentile ranks for women in math, physics or philosophy. These findings have implications for the debate over what interventions are appropriate to increase the representation of women in fields in which they are currently underrepresented.

Suggested Citation

  • Breda, Thomas & Hillion, Melina, 2016. "Teaching Accreditation Exams Reveal Grading Biases Favor Women in Male-Dominated Disciplines in France," IZA Discussion Papers 10079, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10079
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    Cited by:

    1. Nathalie Greenan & Joseph Lanfranchi & Yannick L'Horty & Mathieu Narcy & Guillaume Pierné, 2016. "Inégalités et discriminations dans l’accès à la fonction publique d’Etat : une évaluation par l’analyse des fichiers administratifs de concours," TEPP Research Report 2016-06, TEPP.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    discrimination; evaluation bias; gender stereotypes; natural experiment; gender gap in science; preference for opposite gender;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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