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Gender Differences in the Effects of Behavioral Problems on School Outcomes

  • Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G.

    ()

    (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

Behavioral problems are important determinants of school outcomes and later success in the labor market. We analyze whether behavioral problems affect girls and boys differently with respect to school outcomes. The study is based on teacher and parent evaluations of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) of about 6,000 children born in 1990-92 in a large region in Denmark. The sample is merged with register information on parents and students observed until the age of 19. We find significant and large negative coefficients of the externalizing behavioral indicators. The effects tend to be larger when based on parents' SDQ scores compared to teachers' SDQ scores. According to our estimations, the school outcomes for girls with abnormal externalizing behavior are not significantly different from those of boys with the same behavioral problems. A decomposition of the estimates indicates that most of the gender differences in Reading and Math cannot be related to gender differences in behavioral problems. The large overall gender gap in Reading seems mainly to be the result of gender differences between children without behavioral problems living in 'normal families', i.e. families which are not categorized as low-resource families.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7410.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7410
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  1. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 12139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brian A. Jacob, 2002. "Where the boys aren't: Non-cognitive skills, returns to school and the gender gap in higher education," NBER Working Papers 8964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Amalia R. Miller, 2009. "Motherhood Delay and the Human Capital of the Next Generation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 154-58, May.
  4. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Lausten, Mette & Pozzoli, Dario, 2012. "Does Mother Know Best? Parental Discrepancies in Assessing Child Functioning," IZA Discussion Papers 6962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, and Synapses," Working Papers 200833, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  6. John Ermisch, 2008. "Origins of Social Immobility and Inequality: Parenting and Early Child Development," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 205(1), pages 62-71, July.
  7. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
  8. Jacob, Brian A., 2002. "Where the boys aren't: non-cognitive skills, returns to school and the gender gap in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 589-598, December.
  9. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
  10. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "Explaining the Gender Gap in Math Test Scores: The Role of Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 129-44, Spring.
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