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Girls Helping Girls: The Impact of Female Peers on Grades and Educational Choices

Author

Listed:
  • Schone, Pal

    () (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

  • von Simson, Kristine

    () (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

  • Strom, Marte

    () (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

Abstract

We use idiosyncratic variation in gender composition across cohorts within Norwegian lower-secondary schools to analyze the impact of female peers on students' grades and choices of STEM subjects. We find that more female peers in lower secondary increases girls' probability of choosing STEM-courses in upper secondary, and the effect on choices is larger than the effect on grades. Survey evidence suggests that a potential mechanism is an improved classroom environment. Boys' performance is negatively affected by more female peers. They also start upper secondary later and more often choose vocational studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Schone, Pal & von Simson, Kristine & Strom, Marte, 2017. "Girls Helping Girls: The Impact of Female Peers on Grades and Educational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 10586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10586
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2013. "Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 119-153.
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    3. Booth, Alison & Nolen, Patrick, 2012. "Choosing to compete: How different are girls and boys?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 542-555.
    4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    5. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    6. Scott E. Carrell & Bruce I. Sacerdote & James E. West, 2013. "From Natural Variation to Optimal Policy? The Importance of Endogenous Peer Group Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 855-882, May.
    7. Sherrilyn Billger, 2002. "Admitting men into a women's college: A natural experiment," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(7), pages 479-483.
    8. Anil, Bulent & Guner, Duygu & Delibasi, Tuba Toru & Uysal, Gokce, 2016. "Does Classroom Gender Composition Affect School Dropout?," IZA Discussion Papers 10238, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2014. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Career Choices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1409-1447.
    10. Massimo Anelli & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The Effects of High School Peers' Gender on College Major, College Performance and Income," CESifo Working Paper Series 6014, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472.
    12. Tine Louise Mundbjerg Eriksen & Helena Skyt Nielsen & Marianne Simonsen, 2014. "Bullying in Elementary School," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(4), pages 839-871.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender; education; peer effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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