Gender and Student Achievement in English Schools

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Stephen J. Machin

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

Sandra McNally

University of Surrey; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

The widening gap between the average educational achievement of boys and girls has been the subject of much discussion. This gap is especially controversial for students taking national exams at the end of their compulsory education. However, the gender gap is also apparent at earlier and at later stages of education. In this paper, we analyse changes over time in the gender achievement gap at the different stages of compulsory education in English schools. We first use a combination of data sources to paint a picture of how gender gaps have evolved over time and in what context they are most marked. Then we consider possible explanations for the observed gender gaps. We look at the relevance of school inputs, teaching practice, and the examination system for explaining the gender gap. We also discuss the potential influence of wider social and economic changes as reflected, for example, in the much higher education levels of mothers relative to those of previous generations. Analysis of this issue is important in the context of research on the gender wage gap. However, it is also raises policy-relevant issues in relation to whether changes in the school system can effect a change in the gender gap in educational achievement.

Keywords: human, mouse, spermatogonia, testicular tissue, xenograft

Suggested Citation

Machin, Stephen J. and McNally, Sandra, Gender and Student Achievement in English Schools ( 2005). Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 357-372, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=906407

Stephen J. Machin (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Sandra McNally

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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