Gender Gaps in Primary School Achievement: A Decomposition into Endowments and Returns to IQ and Non-Cognitive Factors

30 Pages Posted: 24 May 2014

See all articles by Bart Golsteyn

Bart Golsteyn

Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Trudie Schils

Maastricht University, Dept Economics; Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies

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.

Keywords: gender, education, achievement, decomposition, personality

JEL Classification: I21, I24

Suggested Citation

Golsteyn, Bart and Schils, Trudie, Gender Gaps in Primary School Achievement: A Decomposition into Endowments and Returns to IQ and Non-Cognitive Factors. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8201. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2441497

Bart Golsteyn (Contact Author)

Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, MD6200
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

Trudie Schils

Maastricht University, Dept Economics ( email )

P.O.Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31 43 3883891 (Phone)
+31 43 3884150 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.trudieschils.nl

Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies ( email )

PLantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands
+31 20 5254199 (Phone)
+31 20 5254301 (Fax)

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