IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8379.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture

Author

Listed:
  • Nollenberger, Natalia

    () (IE University)

  • Rodríguez-Planas, Núria

    () (Queens College, CUNY)

  • Sevilla, Almudena

    () (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper explores the role of cultural attitudes towards women in determining math educational gender gaps using the epidemiological approach. To identify whether culture matters, we estimate whether the math gender gap for each immigrant group living in a particular host country (and exposed to the same host country's laws and institutions) is explained by measures of gender equality in the parents' country of ancestry. We find that the higher the degree of gender equality in the country of ancestry, the higher the performance of second-generation immigrant girls relative to boys. This result is robust to alternative specifications, measures of gender equality and the inclusion of other human development indicators in the country of ancestry. The transmission of culture is higher among those in schools with a higher proportion of immigrants or in co-educational schools. Our results suggest that policies aimed at changing beliefs can prove effective in reducing the gender gap in mathematics.

Suggested Citation

  • Nollenberger, Natalia & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Sevilla, Almudena, 2014. "The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture," IZA Discussion Papers 8379, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8379
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8379.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2006. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 552-561, 04-05.
    2. Francine Blau & Lawrence Kahn & Albert Liu & Kerry Papps, 2013. "The transmission of women’s fertility, human capital, and work orientation across immigrant generations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 405-435, April.
    3. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    4. Glenn Ellison & Ashley Swanson, 2010. "The Gender Gap in Secondary School Mathematics at High Achievement Levels: Evidence from the American Mathematics Competitions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 109-128, Spring.
    5. Machin, Stephen & Puhani, Patrick A., 2003. "Subject of degree and the gender wage differential: evidence from the UK and Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 393-400, June.
    6. Sylke Schnepf, 2007. "Immigrants’ educational disadvantage: an examination across ten countries and three surveys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 527-545, July.
    7. 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 129-144, Spring.
    8. González de San Román, Ainara & de la Rica, Sara, 2012. "Gender Gaps in PISA Test Scores: The Impact of Social Norms and the Mother's Transmission of Role Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 6338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Booth, Alison L., 2009. "Gender and competition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 599-606, December.
    10. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-144, January.
    11. Lídia Farré & Francis Vella, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and its Implications for Female Labour Force Participation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(318), pages 219-247, April.
    12. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, September.
    13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    14. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2012. "Gender differences in risk behaviour: does nurture matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages 56-78, February.
    15. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    16. Bedard, Kelly & Cho, Insook, 2010. "Early gender test score gaps across OECD countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 348-363, June.
    17. Dan A. Black & Amelia M. Haviland & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2008. "Gender Wage Disparities among the Highly Educated," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 630-659.
    18. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 158-165, May.
    19. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-390, June.
    20. Christopher D. Carroll & Byung-Kun Rhee & Changyong Rhee, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-699.
    21. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    22. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    23. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Kevin Milligan, 2013. "Son Preference and the Persistence of Culture: Evidence from South and East Asian Immigrants to Canada," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(1), pages 75-95, March.
    24. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 210-240, April.
    25. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2009. "Production, Market Production and the Gender Wage Gap: Incentives and Expectations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 80-107, January.
    26. Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2010. "Geographic Variation in the Gender Differences in Test Scores," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 95-108, Spring.
    27. Beatrix Eugster & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "The Demand for Social Insurance: Does Culture Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 413-448, November.
    28. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
    29. Delia Furtado & Miriam Marcén & Almudena Sevilla, 2013. "Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 1013-1038, June.
    30. Jensen, Peter & Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz, 2011. "The effect of immigrant concentration in schools on native and immigrant children's reading and math skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1503-1515.
    31. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:15-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shulamit Kahn & Donna Ginther, 2017. "Women and STEM," NBER Working Papers 23525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cho, Seo-Young, 2016. "Does Gender Equality Promote Social Trust? An Empirical Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 175-187.
    4. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Julie Moschion, 2017. "Gender gaps in early educational achievement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 1093-1134, October.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1833-:d:114647 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Seo-Young Cho, 2017. "The Role of Social Capital in Competition and Gender-matching Environments-Evidence from East Asian Countries," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201723, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    7. Ortega, Francesc & Tanaka, Ryuichi, 2015. "Immigration and the Political Economy of Public Education: Recent Perspectives," IZA Discussion Papers 8778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. 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).
    9. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:282-297 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Marcén, Miriam & Molina, José Alberto & Morales, Marina, 2018. "The effect of culture on the fertility decisions of immigrant women in the United States," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 15-28.
    11. Tindara Addabbo & Maddalena Davoli & Marina Murat, 2018. "Is there an immigrant-gender gap in education? An empirical investigation based on PISA data from Italy," Department of Economics 0124, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    12. Tindara Addabbo & Maddalena Davoli & Marina Murat, 2018. "Is there an immigrant-gender gap in education? An empirical investigation based on PISA data from Italy," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 136, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    13. Marcén, Miriam & Morales, Marina, 2017. "Remain single or live together: Does culture matter?," MPRA Paper 77623, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2016. "Social Norms and Teenage Smoking: The Dark Side of Gender Equality," IZA Discussion Papers 10134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:230-253 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Nollenberger, Natalia, 2018. "Let the girls learn! It is not only about math … it's about gender social norms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 230-253.
    17. Seo-Young Cho, 2017. "Explaining Gender Differences in Confidence and Overconfidence in Math," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201701, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender identity; immigrants; gender gap in math;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8379. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.