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Gender Differences in College Applications: Evidence from the Centralized System in Turkey

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  • Saygin, Perihan Ozge

Abstract

In Turkey, as in many other countries, female students perform better in high school and have higher test scores than males. Nevertheless, men still predominate at highly selective programs that lead to high-paying careers. The gender gap at elite schools is particularly puzzling because college admissions are based entirely on nationwide exam scores. Using detailed administrative data from the centralized college entrance system, I study the impact of gender differences in preferences for programs and schools on the allocation of students to colleges. Controlling for test score and high school attended, I find that females are more likely to apply to lower-ranking schools, whereas males set a higher bar, revealing a higher option value for re-taking the test and applying again next year. I also find that females and males value program attributes differently, with females placing more weight on the distance from home to college, and males placing more weight on program attributes that are likely to lead to better job placements. Together, these differences in willingness to be unassigned and in relative preferences for school attributes can explain much of the gender gap at the most elite programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Saygin, Perihan Ozge, 2012. "Gender Differences in College Applications: Evidence from the Centralized System in Turkey," Working Papers 12-21, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:32599
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    File URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/32599/1/Saygin_12-21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
    2. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    3. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "Job Search and Impatience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 527-588, July.
    4. Paserman, M. Daniele, 2007. "Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 2834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
    6. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, April.
    7. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frisancho, Veronica & Krishna, Kala & Lychagin, Sergey & Yavas, Cemile, 2016. "Better luck next time: Learning through retaking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 120-135.
    2. Bünstorf, Guido & Krabel, Stefan, 2014. "Gender and Immigration: Double Negative Effects in the Labor Market Outcomes of University Graduates in Germany?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100290, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2012. "How Important is Secondary School Duration for Post-school Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-509, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Kala Krishna & Sergey Lychagin & Verónica Frisancho Robles, 2015. "Retaking in High Stakes Exams: Is Less More?," NBER Working Papers 21640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender gap ; college admissions ; school choice;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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