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Do the Maths: An Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics in Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Dickerson, Andy

    () (University of Sheffield)

  • McIntosh, Steven

    () (University of Sheffield)

  • Valente, Christine

    () (University of Bristol)

Abstract

This paper uses microdata for 19 African countries to examine the gender difference in maths test scores amongst primary school children. There is a significant difference in maths test scores in favour of boys, similar to that previously observed in developed countries. This difference cannot be explained by gender differences in school quality, home environment, or within-school gender discrimination in access to schooling inputs. However, the gender gap varies widely with characteristics of the regions in which the pupils live, and these regional characteristics are more predictive of the gender gap than parental education and school characteristics, including teacher gender. At the cross-country level, differences in fertility rates account for nearly half the variation in the gender gap, and this relationship is not due to the correlation between fertility and GDP nor to gender inequality as measured by the Gender Gap Index.

Suggested Citation

  • Dickerson, Andy & McIntosh, Steven & Valente, Christine, 2013. "Do the Maths: An Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics in Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 7174, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7174
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    1. repec:spr:izalbr:v:7:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40172-018-0062-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Harounan Kazianga & Leigh Linden & Ali Protik & Matt Sloan, 2016. "The Medium-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools: Seven-Year Evidence from School Construction in Burkina Faso," Development Working Papers 406, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 11 Nov 2016.
    3. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, Nazmul Chaudhury, 2013. "Primary Schooling, Student Learning, and School Quality in Rural Bangladesh-Working Paper 349," Working Papers 349, Center for Global Development.
    4. Gevrek, Z. Eylem & Neumeier, Christian & Gevrek, Deniz, 2018. "Explaining the Gender Test Score Gap in Mathematics: The Role of Gender Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 11260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Sarr, Leopold & Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Cognitive, Non-Cognitive Skills and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 9132, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. World Bank Group, 2015. "Education Service Delivery in Tanzania," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24797, The World Bank.
    8. Ha Trong Nguyen, 2015. "The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: New insights from Australia using quantile regression and decomposition," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1507, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    9. Huong Thu Le & Ha Trong Nguyen, 2018. "The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: new insights from Australia using unconditional quantile regression and decomposition," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-42, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognitive maths skills; gender; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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