The Effect of Single-Sex Education on Test Scores, School Completion, Arrests, and Teen Motherhood: Evidence from School Transitions

67 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016

Date Written: May 2016

Abstract

In 2010, the Ministry of Education in Trinidad and Tobago converted 20 low-performing secondary schools from coeducational to single-sex. I exploit these conversions to identify the causal effect of single-sex schooling holding other school inputs constant. After also accounting for student selection, single-sex cohorts at conversion schools score higher on national exams and are four percentage points more likely to complete secondary school. There are also important non-academic effects; all-boys cohorts have fewer arrests as teens, and all-girls cohorts have lower teen pregnancy rates. These benefits are achieved at zero financial cost. Survey evidence suggests that these single-sex effects reflect both direct gender peer effects due to interactions between classmates, and indirect effects generated through changes in teacher behavior.

Suggested Citation

Kirabo Jackson, C., The Effect of Single-Sex Education on Test Scores, School Completion, Arrests, and Teen Motherhood: Evidence from School Transitions (May 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22222. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2777310

C. Kirabo Jackson (Contact Author)

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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