Societal Inequalities Amplify Gender Gaps in Math

62 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2019

See all articles by Thomas Breda

Thomas Breda

Banque de France

Elyes Jouini

Univ. Paris Dauphine - CEREMADE

Clotilde Napp

CNRS and Université Paris-Dauphine

Abstract

While gender gaps in average math performance are close to zero in developed countries, women are still strongly underrepresented among math high performers. Using data from five successive waves of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), we show that this underrepresentation is more severe in more unequal countries. This relationship holds for a wide range of societal inequalities that are not directly related to gender. It is also observed in other parts of the performance distribution and among various sets of countries, including developing countries. Similar relationships are found in science and reading. Such findings highlight how differences in socio-economic and cultural factors can affect gender gaps in performance.

Keywords: gender gap in math, culture, societal inequality, income inequality, top math performers

JEL Classification: I24, J16, Z1

Suggested Citation

Breda, Thomas and Jouini, Elyes and Napp, Clotilde, Societal Inequalities Amplify Gender Gaps in Math. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12436, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3415782

Thomas Breda (Contact Author)

Banque de France ( email )

Paris
France

Elyes Jouini

Univ. Paris Dauphine - CEREMADE ( email )

Place du Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France
+ 33 1 44 05 46 75 (Phone)
+ 33 1 44 05 45 99 (Fax)

Clotilde Napp

CNRS and Université Paris-Dauphine ( email )

Place de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris, 75775
France

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