On the Origins of Gender Human Capital Gaps: Short and Long Term Consequences of Teachers’ Stereotypical Biases

43 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2015 Last revised: 12 Feb 2015

See all articles by Victor Lavy

Victor Lavy

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Edith Sand

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics

Date Written: January 2015

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the effect of primary school teachers’ gender biases on boys’ and girls’ academic achievements during middle and high school and on the choice of advanced level courses in math and sciences during high school. For identification, we rely on the random assignments of teachers and students to classes in primary schools. Our results suggest that teachers’ biases favoring boys have an asymmetric effect by gender— positive effect on boys’ achievements and negative effect on girls’. Such gender biases also impact students’ enrollment in advanced level math courses in high school—boys positively and girls negatively. These results suggest that teachers’ biased behavior at early stage of schooling have long run implications for occupational choices and earnings at adulthood, because enrollment in advanced courses in math and science in high school is a prerequisite for post-secondary schooling in engineering, computer science and so on. This impact is heterogeneous, being larger for children from families where the father is more educated than the mother and larger on girls from low socioeconomic background.

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Suggested Citation

Lavy, Victor and Sand, Edith, On the Origins of Gender Human Capital Gaps: Short and Long Term Consequences of Teachers’ Stereotypical Biases (January 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w20909. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2558961

Victor Lavy (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3245 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Edith Sand

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

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