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Gender gaps in primary school achievement. A decomposition into endowments and returns to IQ and non-cognitive factors

Author

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  • Golsteyn, B.H.H.

    (Macro, International & Labour Economics)

  • Schils, T.

    (Macro, International & Labour Economics)

Abstract

In elementary school, girls typically outperform boys in languages and boys typically outperform girls in math. The determinants of these differences have remained largely unexplored. Using rich data from Dutch elementary schools, we decompose the differences in achievement into gender differences in endowments and returns to IQ and non-cognitive factors. This descriptive analysis is a thought experiment in which we show the consequences for school performance if girls and boys would have similar resources and take similar advantage of these resources. Our findings indicate that gender differences in resources with respect to social and instrumental skills and need for achievement can explain part of the differences in performance. Boys seem to be better equipped with these resources. Additionally, boys and girls employ their skills differently. Girls take more advantage of their IQ than boys. Yet, the largest part of this parameter effect is left unexplained by IQ and non-cognitive factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Golsteyn, B.H.H. & Schils, T., 2014. "Gender gaps in primary school achievement. A decomposition into endowments and returns to IQ and non-cognitive factors," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2014007
    DOI: 10.26481/umaror.2014007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Huong Thu Le & Ha Trong Nguyen, 2018. "The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: new insights from Australia using unconditional quantile regression and decomposition," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-42, December.
    2. Leonora Risse & Lisa Farrell & Tim R L Fry, 2018. "Personality and pay: do gender gaps in confidence explain gender gaps in wages?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 919-949.
    3. Bart H. H. Golsteyn & Stefa Hirsch, 2019. "Are estimates of intergenerational mobility biased by non-response? Evidence from the Netherlands," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 52(1), pages 29-63, January.
    4. Briole, Simon, 2021. "Are girls always good for boys? Short and long term effects of school peers’ gender," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    5. Muñoz, Juan Sebastián, 2018. "The economics behind the math gender gap: Colombian evidence on the role of sample selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 368-391.
    6. Emanuela Ghignoni, 2015. "Family background and university dropouts during the crisis: the case of Italy," Working Papers in Public Economics 169, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Economics and Law.
    7. Sule Alan & Seda Ertac & Elif Kubilay & Gyongyi Loranth, 2020. "Understanding Gender Differences in Leadership," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(626), pages 263-289.
    8. Eva Feron & Trudie Schils & Bas ter Weel, 2016. "Does the Teacher Beat the Test? The Value of the Teacher’s Assessment in Predicting Student Ability," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(4), pages 391-418, December.
    9. Wehner, Caroline & Schils, Trudie, 2019. "Educational achievement and gender differences: The role of the interaction between emotional stability and conscientiousness," Research Memorandum 021, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    10. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Brinkman, Sally & Le, Huong Thu & Zubrick, Stephen R. & Mitrou, Francis, 2022. "Gender differences in time allocation contribute to differences in developmental outcomes in children and adolescents," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    11. Feron, Eva & Schils, Trudie & ter Weel, Bas, 2015. "Does the Teacher Beat the Test? The Additional Value of Teacher Assessment in Predicting Student Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 8768, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Katharina Heisig, 2019. "Vom Sinn einer geschlechtsneutralen Erziehung und Bildung," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 27(02), pages 12-16, April.
    13. Ha Trong Nguyen, 2015. "The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: New insights from Australia using quantile regression and decomposition," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1507, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    14. Bas ter Weel & Eva Feron & Trudie Schils, 2015. "Does the teacher beat the test? The additional value of teacher assessment in predicting student ability," CPB Discussion Paper 300, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Elena Claudia Meroni & Giovanni Abbiati, 2014. "Gender differences in exposure to more instruction time. Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 064, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    16. van Lent, Max, 2022. "Fathering Daughters and Personality," IZA Discussion Papers 15012, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Chunhan Huang & Junyun Shi & Xiaodong Zeng, 2023. "Personality Traits, Student-Teacher Relationships and Boys’ Academic Crisis in China: Evidence From the Least Developed Regions," SAGE Open, , vol. 13(4), pages 21582440231, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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