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

Listed author(s):
  • Schone, Pal

    ()

    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

  • von Simson, Kristine

    ()

    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

  • Strom, Marte

    ()

    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10586.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10586
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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.
  2. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "The Demand for Sons," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1085-1120.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2016. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," IZA Discussion Papers 9656, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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, 05.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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