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Reconstructing School Segregation: On the Efficacy and Equity of Single-Sex Schooling

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  • Billger, Sherrilyn M.

    () (Illinois State University)

Abstract

A change to Title IX has spurred new single-sex public schooling in the US. Until recently, nearly all gender-segregated schools were private, and I therefore address potential selection bias in the effects on educational and labor market outcomes using within private sector comparisons, an index comparing expectations to outcomes, quantile regressions, and other techniques. Descriptive statistics suggest significant benefits, but more consideration of selection bias reveals less consistency. Girls' school alumnae are more likely than their coed peers to receive scholarships, but they are not more likely to pursue college degrees, and both genders are less likely to meet their own educational expectations. Moreover, single-sex schooling is not universally superior in supporting gender equity, as coeducational public schools yield the least segregated college major choices. On the other hand, I find 15-20% higher starting salaries among single-sex school graduates, but only persistently for men of median ability. Much of the benefit from single-sex schooling accrues to students already likely to succeed, but favorable selection is an insufficient explanation for all gains. Most notably, there are clear returns for both African-Americans and low income students.

Suggested Citation

  • Billger, Sherrilyn M., 2006. "Reconstructing School Segregation: On the Efficacy and Equity of Single-Sex Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 2037, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2037
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    2. 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.
    3. Brandice J. Canes & Harvey S. Rosen, 1995. "Following in Her Footsteps? Faculty Gender Composition and Women's Choices of College Majors," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 486-504, April.
    4. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 791-821.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schneeweis, Nicole & Zweimüller, Martina, 2012. "Girls, girls, girls: Gender composition and female school choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 482-500.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    single-sex education; labor outcomes; secondary schooling; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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