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Gender Gaps in PISA Test Scores: The Impact of Social Norms and the Mother's Transmission of Role Attitudes

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  • González de San Román, Ainara

    () (University of the Basque Country)

  • de la Rica, Sara

    () (University of the Basque Country)

Abstract

The existence of gender gaps in test scores has been documented in the relevant literature for a wide range of countries. In particular, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the OECD over the past ten years reveals that on average female students underperform (outperform) males in maths (reading) test scores in most of the countries that take part in the evaluation programme. We find that differences in culture and social norms across countries and across regions within the same country are crucial determinants in understanding gender differences in PISA 2009 test scores: girls perform relatively better in both maths and reading in societies where gender equality is enhanced, and the effect varies over the distribution of scores. In addition, we find substantial evidence for the intergenerational transmission of gender role attitudes, especially from mothers to daughters, as the performance of girls – not that of boys, is better in families where the mother works outside home.

Suggested Citation

  • González de San Román, Ainara & de la Rica, Sara, 2012. "Gender Gaps in PISA Test Scores: The Impact of Social Norms and the Mother's Transmission of Role Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 6338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6338
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Falch, Torberg & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "Public sector decentralization and school performance: International evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(3), pages 276-279.
    2. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
    3. Massimiliano Bratti & Daniele Checchi & Antonio Filippin, 2007. "Geographical Differences in Italian Students' Mathematical Competencies: Evidence from Pisa 2003," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 66(3), pages 299-333, November.
    4. Ciccone, Antonio & Garcia-Fontes, Walter, 2009. "The quality of the Catalan and Spanish education systems: A perspective from PISA," IESE Research Papers D/810, IESE Business School.
    5. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Sebastián Muñoz, 2014. "Re-estimating the Gender Gap in Colombian Academic Performance," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4762, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Natalia Nollenberger & Núria Rodríguez-Planas & Almudena Sevilla, 2016. "The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 257-261, May.
    3. Tindara Addabbo & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Anna Maccagnan, 2016. "Education Capability: A Focus on Gender and Science," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 793-812, September.
    4. Panos Mavrokonstantis, 2015. "Modern Family: Female Breadwinners and the Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Norms," STICERD - Public Economics Programme Discussion Papers 27, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    5. Raymundo M. Campos Vázquez & Alma S. Santillán Hernández, 2016. "Análisis de diferencias en puntajes en la prueba ENLACE entre niños y niñas en el sistema escolar mexicano," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 31(1), pages 65-123.
    6. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:32-42 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    PISA; test scores; achievement; gender differences; culture; role attitudes; intergenerational transmission;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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