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Girls, girls, girls: Gender composition and female school choice

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      Highlights

      ► Causal impact of fraction of girls in schools on (vocational) school type choice for female students. ► Population variation: gender composition of adjacent cohorts within schools. ► The higher the share of girls, the less likely they choose a female-dominated school type at age 14. ► Results robust to falsification tests and sensitivity checks.

      Abstract

      Gender segregation in employment may be explained by women's reluctance to choose technical occupations. However, the foundations for career choices are laid much earlier. Educational experts claim that female students are doing better in math and science and are more likely to choose these subjects if they are in single-sex classes. One possible explanation is that coeducational settings reinforce gender stereotypes. In this paper, we identify the causal impact of the gender composition in coeducational classes on the choice of school type for female students. Using natural variation in the gender composition of adjacent cohorts within schools, we show that girls are less likely to choose a traditionally female dominated school type and more likely to choose a male dominated school type at the age of 14 if they were exposed to a higher share of girls in previous grades.

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      Most cited references 35

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      A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap

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        Differences between Pupils from Mixed and Single‐sex Schools in Their Enjoyment of School Subjects and in Their Attitudes to Science and to School

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          When being a girl matters less: accessibility of gender-related self-knowledge in single-sex and coeducational classes and its impact on students' physics-related self-concept of ability.

          Establishing or preserving single-sex schooling has been widely discussed as a way of bringing more girls into the natural sciences.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            University of Linz, NRN Labor & Welfare State, Austria
            Author notes
            [* ]Corresponding author at: Johannes Kepler University Linz, Department of Economics, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz, Austria. Tel.: +43 732 2468 5373. nicole.schneeweis@ 123456jku.at
            Contributors
            Journal
            Econ Educ Rev
            Econ Educ Rev
            Economics of Education Review
            Ballinger Pub. Co
            0272-7757
            1 August 2012
            August 2012
            : 31
            : 4
            : 482-500
            4020311
            S0272-7757(11)00174-9
            10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.11.002
            © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

            This document may be redistributed and reused, subject to certain conditions.

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