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The Cost of Acting "Girly": Gender Stereotypes and Educational Choices

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  • Favara, Marta

    () (University of Oxford)

Abstract

This paper looks at horizontal sex segregation in education as a factor contributing to gender segregation in the labor market. Economic theories fail to explain why women with the same years of schooling and educational attainment as men are under-represented in many technical degrees, which typically lead to better paid occupations. Following Akerlof and Kranton (2000), I research whether gender identity affects boys' and girls' educational choices and when the gendered pattern appears first. Further, I test the hypothesis that single-sex schools attenuate the influence of gender-stereotypes. I use the National Pupil Database, which is a register of all pupils enrolled in state maintained schools in England and I focus on students in lower and upper secondary education. Results from my analysis suggest that gender stereotyping affects educational choices from the age of 14 and this effect is larger for girls than for boys. I also find that attending a sixth-form-single-sex school leads students to a less stereotyped educational choice, after controlling for endogenous self-selection into single-sex schools. This suggests that gender preferences can be modified by the environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Favara, Marta, 2012. "The Cost of Acting "Girly": Gender Stereotypes and Educational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 7037, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7037
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Susanne Link, 2012. "Single-Sex Schooling and Student Performance: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from South Korea," ifo Working Paper Series 146, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    2. Cárdenas, Juan Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2015. "Cooperativeness and competitiveness in children," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 32-41.
    3. SELLAMI, Sana & VERHAEST, Dieter & NONNEMAN, Walter & VAN TRIER, Walter, 2015. "Education as investment, consumption or adapting to social norm: Implications for educational mismatch among graduates," Working Papers 2015014, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    4. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2014. "Gender and competition in adolescence: task matters," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 154-172, March.
    5. Benoît Rapoport & Claire Thibout, 2016. "Why Do Boys and Girls Make Different Educational Choices? The Influence of Expected Earnings and Test Scores," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. Saniter, Nils & Siedler, Thomas, 2014. "The Effects of Occupational Knowledge: Job Information Centers, Educational Choices, and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Rampino, Tina & Taylor, Mark P., 2013. "Gender differences in educational aspirations and attitudes," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "Does Expert Advice Improve Educational Choice?," IZA Discussion Papers 7649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Cools, Angela & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2017. "Sibling Gender Composition and Women's Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 11001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Susanne Link, 2013. "Institutional Determinants of Student Achievement - Microeconometric Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 50, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender segregation; educational choices; gender stereotypes; single-sex schools;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • 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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