Do Girls Really Outperform Boys in Educational Outcomes?

Saygin, Perihan Ozge

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-354223
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: Working Paper Series
Volume: 14-05
Place of publication: Mannheim
Edition: Version February 19, 2014
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > VWL, Angewandte Politische Ökonomie (Weber, A. 2010-2016)
MADOC publication series: Department of Economics > Working Paper Series
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: C35 , I20 , I24,
Keywords (English): gender gap , test scores , university entrance exam
Abstract: The reversing gender gap observed in many countries led to a heated debate to explain the persistent gap in academia and other top fields despite the reversal. This paper aims at analyzing the gender gap in education outcomes from different evaluation and exam techniques and gender gap in outcomes of college applications using Turkish administrative data. In Turkey, university applications are centralized based on a standardized test. Assignments of applicants depend on an assignment score which is calculated as a weighted sum of standardized test score and high school GPA with a little contribution from the latter. I find considerable gender gap in favor of females in high school GPAs which is a long term evaluation of students based on every written exam during high school while the female outperformance is not as obvious in standardized test scores which comes from a stressful 3 hours multiple choice test. I also analyze the gender gap in college application outcomes and show that females are less likely to be assigned to a top major conditional on test scores. These findings contribute to the discussion of gender gap in performance in education suggesting that evaluation systems might have gender biased impacts on students and underrepresentation of females in top fields and/or universities can not be explained only by mean differences in test scores and test score distributions.

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