Do Gender Stereotypes Reduce Girls' Human Capital Outcomes? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

53 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2004 Last revised: 6 Sep 2010

See all articles by Victor Lavy

Victor Lavy

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

Date Written: August 2004

Abstract

Schools and teachers are often said to be a source of stereotypes that harm girls. This paper tests for the existence of gender stereotyping and discrimination by public high-school teachers in Israel. It uses a natural experiment based on blind and non-blind scores that students receive on matriculation exams in their senior year. Using data on test results in several subjects in the humanities and sciences, I found, contrary to expectations, that male students face discrimination in each subject. These biases widen the female male achievement gap because girls outperform boys in all subjects, except English, and at all levels of the curriculum. The bias is evident in all segments of the ability and performance distribution and is robust to various individual controls. Several explanations based on differential behavior between boys and girls are not supported empirically. However, the size of the bias is very sensitive to teachers' characteristics, suggesting that the bias against male students is the result of teachers', and not students', behavior.

Suggested Citation

Lavy, Victor, Do Gender Stereotypes Reduce Girls' Human Capital Outcomes? Evidence from a Natural Experiment (August 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10678. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=579821

Victor Lavy (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
52
Abstract Views
1,116
rank
399,453
PlumX Metrics