Gender Gaps in Early Educational Achievement

50 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2015

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Julie Moschion

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the source of the gender gap in third grade numeracy and reading. We adopt an Oaxaca-Blinder approach and decompose the gender gap in educational achievement into endowment and response components. Our estimation relies on unusually rich panel data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Children in which information on child development reported by parents and teachers is linked to each child's results on a national, standardized achievement test. We find that girls in low- and middle-SES families have an advantage in reading, while boys in high-SES families have an advantage in numeracy. Girls score higher on their third grade reading tests in large part because they were more ready for school at age four and had better teacher-assessed literacy skills in kindergarten. Boys' advantage in numeracy occurs because they achieve higher numeracy test scores than girls with the same education-related characteristics.

Keywords: education, educational achievement, gender gaps, Australia

JEL Classification: J16, I21, I24

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Moschion, Julie, Gender Gaps in Early Educational Achievement. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9535. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2696374

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Julie Moschion

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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

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