nep-gen New Economics Papers
on Gender
Issue of 2021‒10‒04
three papers chosen by
Jan Sauermann
Stockholms universitet

  1. Gender differences in admission scores and first-year university achievement By Karlsson, Linn; Wikström, Magnus
  2. Gender separation and academic achievement in higher education: Evidence from a natural experiment in Iran By Kamal, Zahra
  3. Testing the Presence of Implicit Hiring Quotas with Application to German Universities By Lena Janys

  1. By: Karlsson, Linn (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Wikström, Magnus (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This study explores female underprediction in first-year university achievement by using data from 8,971 Swedish university entrants in the fall semester of 2012. The Swedish admissions system selects students by two instruments: upper secondary school GPA or scores from a scholastic aptitude test (SweSAT). Nearest-neighbour matching allows us to compare students with similar admission scores and estimate achievement differences between male and female students. The results show that admission scores underpredict achievement for women relative to men in both admissions groups and more so for the SweSAT. As we condition on field of education, achievement differences tend to vary over fields and tend to become smaller, indicating that part of the differences is related to the male-female composition of students in the different fields.
    Keywords: Swedish admissions test; grade point average; gender; female underprediction; higher education
    JEL: I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2021–09–24
  2. By: Kamal, Zahra
    Abstract: In 2011, a large university in Tehran launched a policy of gender separation at classroom level without publicly announcing it beforehand. The current paper utilizes this natural experiment to identify the causal impact of participation in single-sex versus mixed classrooms on students' achievement. Despite the vast yet inconclusive literature on single-sex schooling, this paper addresses the dearth of the research in the context of higher education as well as the context of Muslim-majority countries where single-sex education is prevalent. Empirical findings show that when students' characteristics and educational competencies are taken into account, attending a single-sex classroom improves both males' and females' average performances by around 0.36 standard deviation. While the academic benefit for females does not depend on their ability level, the effect is considerably heterogeneous among males with different initial ability. Nearly all positive effect for males is driven by upper-medium-ability male students performing significantly better in all-male classrooms.
    Keywords: education policy,gender separation,single-sex education,coeducation,mixed classroom,higher education
    JEL: I23 I24 I28 J16 C31
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Lena Janys
    Abstract: It is widely accepted that women are underrepresented in academia in general and economics in particular. This paper introduces a test to detect an under-researched form of hiring bias: implicit quotas. I derive a test under the Null of random hiring that requires no information about individual hires under some assumptions. I derive the asymptotic distribution of this test statistic and, as an alternative, propose a parametric bootstrap procedure that samples from the exact distribution. This test can be used to analyze a variety of other hiring settings. I analyze the distribution of female professors at German universities across 50 different disciplines. I show that the distribution of women, given the average number of women in the respective field, is highly unlikely to result from a random allocation of women across departments and more likely to stem from an implicit quota of one or two women on the department level. I also show that a large part of the variation in the share of women across STEM and non-STEM disciplines could be explained by a two-women quota on the department level. These findings have important implications for the potential effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing underrepresentation and providing evidence of how stakeholders perceive and evaluate diversity.
    Date: 2021–09

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