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Gender Differences in Education

Author

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  • Pekkarinen, Tuomas

    () (VATT, Helsinki)

Abstract

This paper surveys the trends in gender gaps in education, their causes and potential policy implications. I show that female educational attainment has surpassed, or is about to surpass, male educational attainment in most industrialized countries. These gaps reflect male overrepresentation among secondary school drop-outs and female overrepresentation among tertiary education students and graduates. Existing evidence suggests that this pattern is a result of a combination of increasing returns to education and lower female effort costs of education. Widening gender gap in education combined with recent wage and employment polarization will likely lead to widening inequalities and is linked to declining male labor force participation. The paper discusses evidence on educational policies that both widen and reduce gender gaps in educational outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Pekkarinen, Tuomas, 2012. "Gender Differences in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 6390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6390
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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6390.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    2. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
    3. Peter Fredriksson & Björn Öckert & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2013. "Long-Term Effects of Class Size," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 249-285.
    4. Hinnerich, Björn Tyrefors & Höglin, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2011. "Are boys discriminated in Swedish high schools?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 682-690, August.
    5. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2011. "Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-33, April.
    6. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    7. Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Wage inequality, technology and trade: 21st century evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 730-741.
    8. Pierre-André Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2009. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1689-1713, December.
    9. Christopher Dougherty, 2005. "Why Are the Returns to Schooling Higher for Women than for Men?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 969-988.
    10. Philip Oreopoulos & Daniel Lang & Joshua Angrist, 2009. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 136-163, January.
    11. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2008. "The literacy hour," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1441-1462, June.
    12. Trostel, Philip & Walker, Ian & Woolley, Paul, 2002. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for 28 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
    13. Brian Jacob & Jens Ludwig, 2008. "Improving Educational Outcomes for Poor Children," NBER Working Papers 14550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Tuomas Pekkarinen, 2008. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: Evidence on the Role of Tracking from a Finnish Quasi-experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 807-825, December.
    15. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
    16. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    17. Gary S. Becker & William H. J. Hubbard & Kevin M. Murphy, 2010. "Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 203-241.
    18. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    20. Susan Dynarski, 2008. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 576-610.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nadir Altinok & Claude Diebolt & Jean-Luc Demeulemeester, 2014. "A new international database on education quality: 1965--2010," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(11), pages 1212-1247, April.
    2. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:5:p:883-905 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ilya Prakhov & Maria Bocharova, 2016. "Socio-Economic Predictors of Student Mobility," HSE Working papers WP BRP 34/EDU/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Albrecht, James & Skogman Thoursie, Peter & Vroman, Susan, 2015. "Parental leave and the glass ceiling in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2015:4, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. 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

    gender differences; test scores; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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