IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Lies Behind Gender Inequality in Education?


  • OECD


While PISA reveals large gender differences in reading, in favour of 15-year-old girls, the gap is narrower when digital reading skills are tested. Indeed, the Survey of Adult Skills suggests that there are no significant gender differences in digital literacy proficiency among 16-29 year-olds. Boys are more likely to underachieve when they attend schools with a large proportion of socio‑economically disadvantaged students. Girls – even high-achieving girls – tend to underachieve compared to boys when they are asked to think like scientists, such as when they are asked to formulate situations mathematically or interpret phenomena scientifically. Parents are more likely to expect their sons, rather than their daughters, to work in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field – even when their 15-year-old boys and girls perform at the same level in mathematics.

Suggested Citation

  • Oecd, 2015. "What Lies Behind Gender Inequality in Education?," PISA in Focus 49, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:eduddd:49-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5js4xffhhc30-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


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

    Cited by:

    1. Töpfer, Marina & Castagnetti, Carolina & Rosti, Luisa, 2016. "Discriminate me - if you can! The Disappearance of the Gender Pay Gap among Public-Contest Selected Employees," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145905, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Ortiz-Ospina Esteban, 2017. "Monopolistic Competition and Exclusive Quality," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 1-14, April.
    3. Longenecker, Emily Irene & Barnum, Anthony Justin, 2017. "The problem of secondary education completion: The case study of Cape Verde, a small island developing state," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 48-57.
    4. Heindl, Peter & Kanschik, Philipp, 2016. "Ecological sufficiency, individual liberties, and distributive justice: Implications for policy making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 42-50.
    5. Jarosław Oczki, 2016. "Gender Pay Gap in Poland," International Economics, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, issue 14, pages 106-113, June.
    6. Dietrich Stauffer, 2016. "Income inequality in the 21st century — A biased summary of Piketty’s capital in the twenty-first century," International Journal of Modern Physics C (IJMPC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 27(02), pages 1-6, February.
    7. Basu, Kaushik, 2016. "Globalization of labor markets and the growth prospects of nations," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 656-669.
    8. Aleksandar Stulhofer & Ivan Buric, 2016. "In search of the egalitarian syndrome: cultural inertia in Croatia?," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 40(4), pages 361-382.
    9. Florida, Richard & Mellander, Charlotta, 2017. "Innovation, Skill, and Economic Segregation," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 456, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    10. Bartling Björn & Grieder Manuel & Zehnder Christian, 2014. "Does competition justify inequality?," ECON - Working Papers 158, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2015.
    11. Ben Etheridge, 2016. "Sell, Friedrich L.: The new economics of income distribution: introducing equilibrium concepts into a contested field," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 171-173, October.
    12. Livio Di Matteo, 2016. "Wealth Distribution and the Canadian Middle Class: Historical Evidence and Policy Implications," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 42(2), pages 132-151, June.
    13. Belmondo V. Tanankem & Uchenna R. Efobi & Ngozi S. Atata, 2016. "Women Empowerment and Intra-household Dietary Diversity in Nigeria," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 16/050, African Governance and Development Institute..
    14. Brando, Nicolás, 2017. "Between equality and freedom of choice: Educational opportunities for the least advantaged," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 71-79.
    15. E. Wesley F. Peterson, 2017. "Is Economic Inequality Really a Problem? A Review of the Arguments," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-25, December.
    16. Roby, Jini L. & Erickson, Lance & Nagaishi, Chanel, 2016. "Education for children in sub-Saharan Africa: Predictors impacting school attendance," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 110-116.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:oec:eduddd:49-en. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.