Do Single-Sex Schools Enhance Students’ Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Outcomes?

36 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2012  

Hyunjoon Park

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Sociology

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Jaesung Choi

Sungkyunkwan University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 18, 2012

Abstract

Despite women’s significant improvement in educational attainment, underrepresentation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) college majors persists in most countries. We address whether one particular institution – single-sex schools – may enhance female – or male – students’ STEM careers. Exploiting the unique setting in Korea where assignment to all-girls, all-boys or coeducational high schools is random, we move beyond associations to assess causal effects of single-sex schools. We use administrative data on national college entrance mathematics examination scores and a longitudinal survey of high school seniors that provide various STEM outcomes (mathematics and science interest and self-efficacy, expectations of a four-year college attendance and a STEM college major during the high school senior year, and actual attendance at a four-year college and choice of a STEM major two years after high school). We find significantly positive effects of all-boys schools consistently across different STEM outcomes, whereas the positive effect of all-girls schools is only found for mathematics scores.

Keywords: Africa, Economic Shocks, Child Schooling

JEL Classification: N37, E30, I21

Suggested Citation

Park, Hyunjoon and Behrman, Jere and Choi, Jaesung, Do Single-Sex Schools Enhance Students’ Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Outcomes? (September 18, 2012). PIER Working Paper No. 12-038. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2153812 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2153812

Hyunjoon Park

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Sociology ( email )

3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

Jere R. Behrman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

160 McNeil Building
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-7704 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

Jaesung Choi

Sungkyunkwan University - Department of Economics ( email )

110-745 Seoul
Korea

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