Sex-Differences in Language and Socio-Emotional Skills: Evidence from Large Scale Studies of Very Young Children

43 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2016

See all articles by Rosangela Bando

Rosangela Bando

Inter-American Development Bank

Florencia López Bóo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford; IZA

Abstract

This study explores sex differences in language and socio-emotional skills on children 7 months to 6 years old in Latin-America. Females had a significant advantage in both dimensions. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document sex differences in these dimensions at a very young age. In part, we believe this is due to our uniquely large sample size. We found geographical and cultural variation across the countries under study did not affect the gap. Within countries, variation in family characteristics, parenting practices and health investments did not explain the gap. The identification of biological and environmental factors is necessary to inform whether policy should tailor inputs to ensure equality of opportunities.

Keywords: gender gaps, sex gaps, language, social skills, emotional skills, early childhood

JEL Classification: I25, J13, J16, O15, Z13

Suggested Citation

Bando, Rosangela and López Bóo, Florencia, Sex-Differences in Language and Socio-Emotional Skills: Evidence from Large Scale Studies of Very Young Children. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10315, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2861100

Rosangela Bando (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

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Washington, DC 20577
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202 623 2126 (Phone)

Florencia López Bóo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

IZA ( email )

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

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