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Do Single-Sex Classes Affect Exam Scores? An Experiment in a Coeducational University

Author

Listed:
  • Booth, Alison L.

    () (Australian National University)

  • Cardona Sosa, Lina Marcela

    () (Central Bank of Colombia)

  • Nolen, Patrick J.

    () (University of Essex)

Abstract

We examine the effect of single-sex classes on the pass rates, grades, and course choices of students in a coeducational university. We randomly assign students to all-female, all-male, and coed classes and, therefore, get around the selection issues present in other studies on single-sex education. We find that one hour a week of single-sex education benefits females: females are 7% more likely to pass their first year courses and score 10% higher in their required second year classes than their peers attending coeducational classes. We find no effect of single-sex education on the probability that a female will take technical classes and there is no effect of single-sex education for males. Furthermore we are able to examine potential mechanisms driving the single-sex effect for females. We find that the results are consistent with a reduction in stereotype threat for females and are not due to a potential tracking effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Booth, Alison L. & Cardona Sosa, Lina Marcela & Nolen, Patrick J., 2013. "Do Single-Sex Classes Affect Exam Scores? An Experiment in a Coeducational University," IZA Discussion Papers 7207, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7207
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    Cited by:

    1. Ulf Zölitz & Jan Feld, 2017. "The effect of peer gender on major choice," ECON - Working Papers 270, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Oosterbeek, Hessel & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2014. "Gender peer effects in university: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 51-63.
    3. 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.
    4. Dustmann, Christian & Ku, Hyejin & Kwak, Do Won, 2017. "Why Are Single-Sex Schools Successful?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experiment; single-sex; education; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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