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The educational gender gap, catch up and labour market performance Martyn Andrews (University of Manchester), Steve Bradley, Dave Stott & Jim Taylor (Lancaster.

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Presentation on theme: "The educational gender gap, catch up and labour market performance Martyn Andrews (University of Manchester), Steve Bradley, Dave Stott & Jim Taylor (Lancaster."— Presentation transcript:

1 The educational gender gap, catch up and labour market performance Martyn Andrews (University of Manchester), Steve Bradley, Dave Stott & Jim Taylor (Lancaster University)

2 The educational gender gap Issues Issues Performance of girls is superior to boys and getting wider Performance of girls is superior to boys and getting wider Concern about low achieving boys Concern about low achieving boys Girls do better in language based subjects, boys do better in Maths & Science Girls do better in language based subjects, boys do better in Maths & Science Even if girls outperform boys, does it matter if they are discriminated against in the labour market? Even if girls outperform boys, does it matter if they are discriminated against in the labour market?

3 The educational gender gap Objectives Objectives Use biannual YCS ( ) & NPD ( ) Use biannual YCS ( ) & NPD ( ) 1. Define & measure the gender gap and document how it changes through time 1. Define & measure the gender gap and document how it changes through time 2. Explain how the gap changes when we control for 2. Explain how the gap changes when we control for Observable effects – individual, family, school, neighbourhood Observable effects – individual, family, school, neighbourhood Unobservable effects Unobservable effects School-level (e.g. discipline, tiering, streaming School-level (e.g. discipline, tiering, streaming Individual-level (e.g. attitudes, motivation) Individual-level (e.g. attitudes, motivation) 3. Repeat 1 & 2 for subject groups 3. Repeat 1 & 2 for subject groups 4. Measure & explain how the gap changes during the educational process 4. Measure & explain how the gap changes during the educational process Age (at KS2, KS3, KS4) Age (at KS2, KS3, KS4)

4 Previous research Educational Educational Descriptive studies e.g. Gorard et al (1999) Descriptive studies e.g. Gorard et al (1999) School effectiveness e.g. Wong et al (2002) School effectiveness e.g. Wong et al (2002) Qualitative / case studies e.g. OFSTED (2003) Qualitative / case studies e.g. OFSTED (2003) Organisation, teaching & learning, curriculum & assessment Organisation, teaching & learning, curriculum & assessment School organisation School organisation Culture of laddishness Culture of laddishness Idiosyncratic school effects Idiosyncratic school effects Home background Home background Economics e.g. Dolton et al (1999), Burgess et al (2004) Economics e.g. Dolton et al (1999), Burgess et al (2004)

5 Data & methodology Estimate education production functions Estimate education production functions Outcome = function of: Outcome = function of: Girl (gap) Girl (gap) Individual characteristics Individual characteristics School characteristics School characteristics Neighbourhood characteristics Neighbourhood characteristics Unobserved individual-level effects Unobserved individual-level effects Unobserved school-level effects Unobserved school-level effects Are there correlations between girl and (observable & unobservable) effects? Are there correlations between girl and (observable & unobservable) effects? Zero – gap is the published figure Zero – gap is the published figure Girl & personal (zero?) Girl & personal (zero?) Girl & school (sorting?) Girl & school (sorting?) Girl & unobserved individual effects (motivation) Girl & unobserved individual effects (motivation) Girl & unobserved school effects (sorting?) Girl & unobserved school effects (sorting?) Unobserved individual-level & unobserved school-level effects Unobserved individual-level & unobserved school-level effects

6 Data Pooled cross-section (YCS) data ( ) Pooled cross-section (YCS) data ( ) YCS2-3 – GCE/CSE YCS2-3 – GCE/CSE YCS4+ -- GCSE YCS4+ -- GCSE Observed variables Observed variables Individual – gender, ethnicity, age Individual – gender, ethnicity, age Family – parental occupation, single parent, housing tenure Family – parental occupation, single parent, housing tenure School – Pupil-teacher ratio, pupil composition, size, competition School – Pupil-teacher ratio, pupil composition, size, competition Neighbourhood – unemployment rate, occupational mix Neighbourhood – unemployment rate, occupational mix YCS6-11 observe the same school up to 6 times – school level unobservables YCS6-11 observe the same school up to 6 times – school level unobservables

7 Data NPD 2002 & 2003 NPD 2002 & 2003 Observe KS2, KS3 & GCSE results Observe KS2, KS3 & GCSE results Population Population Advantages: Advantages: Control for (estimate?) unobserved individual effects Control for (estimate?) unobserved individual effects 41,000 pupils move schools 41,000 pupils move schools Identify individual & school level unobservables Identify individual & school level unobservables But … few individual-level covariates But … few individual-level covariates

8 Outcomes – measures of educational performance Pass/fail for each subject (grade C +) Pass/fail for each subject (grade C +) Number A*-C GCSEs – all subjects Number A*-C GCSEs – all subjects 5 + A*-C GCSEs – headline figure 5 + A*-C GCSEs – headline figure Points score – distribution (A*=7, etc.) Points score – distribution (A*=7, etc.)

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11 Absolute versus relative gaps Debate Debate Educationalists label the absolute gap as the politicians error Educationalists label the absolute gap as the politicians error Absolute gap increases as relative gap falls Absolute gap increases as relative gap falls Absolute gap is correct Absolute gap is correct Note the increase in the gap from the introduction of GCSE Note the increase in the gap from the introduction of GCSE

12 Econometric findings - observables

13 What explains the gender gap (differential)? Selective schools have a very large effect on attainment Selective schools have a very large effect on attainment Single sex schools have a large, but smaller, effect Single sex schools have a large, but smaller, effect Neither of these effects contribute much to the gender gap Neither of these effects contribute much to the gender gap Other observable differences between girls and boys (e.g. family background, poverty) do not explain the gap Other observable differences between girls and boys (e.g. family background, poverty) do not explain the gap Are the findings genuine? Biased sample for YCS but we observe similar effects for NPD (population) Are the findings genuine? Biased sample for YCS but we observe similar effects for NPD (population)

14 The story so far Observable differences between girls & boys do not explain the gap Observable differences between girls & boys do not explain the gap Girls must therefore behave differently prior to GCSEs Girls must therefore behave differently prior to GCSEs 1. Choice of secondary school 1. Choice of secondary school 2. Subject level gaps at GCSE 2. Subject level gaps at GCSE 3. Differences in exam performance between KS2 & KS4 3. Differences in exam performance between KS2 & KS4

15 1. Choice of school Control for school-level unobservables Control for school-level unobservables YCS6-11 & NPD1-2 (panels) YCS6-11 & NPD1-2 (panels) Controlling for school level unobservables is important Controlling for school level unobservables is important level not trend level not trend Discipline, tiering, streaming Discipline, tiering, streaming Between the gender gap is halved Between the gender gap is halved - E.g. YCS10 = 0.04 versus 0.10 Implication: Has the quasi-market (ERA, 1988) meant that girls are marginally more attractive to better schools? Implication: Has the quasi-market (ERA, 1988) meant that girls are marginally more attractive to better schools? Un-testable because of lack of linked school data prior to 1991 Un-testable because of lack of linked school data prior to 1991

16 2. Subject level gaps at GCSE

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18 Data shows that girls outperform boys in languages, English & vocational subjects Data shows that girls outperform boys in languages, English & vocational subjects One-off GCE-GCSE effect disadvantaging boys – languages, science, maths One-off GCE-GCSE effect disadvantaging boys – languages, science, maths Since 1988 the gap has increased at the same rate – girls catch-up in maths & science Since 1988 the gap has increased at the same rate – girls catch-up in maths & science Controlling for observable & unobservable differences lowers the gap by one-tenth of a GCSE grade Controlling for observable & unobservable differences lowers the gap by one-tenth of a GCSE grade Girls ahead in English, languages & vocational, level in humanities & behind in Maths and Science Girls ahead in English, languages & vocational, level in humanities & behind in Maths and Science

19 3. Differences in exam performance between KS2 & KS4 Maths, English, Science at KS2, KS3 & KS4 (population) Maths, English, Science at KS2, KS3 & KS4 (population) See Table on KS2-4 See Table on KS2-4 Gaps at GCSE: English (0.63), Maths (0.03) and Science (0.06) Gaps at GCSE: English (0.63), Maths (0.03) and Science (0.06) At KS2: Girls better in English (0.23), behind in Maths At KS2: Girls better in English (0.23), behind in Maths (-0.07) & Science (-0.04) Girls improve between KS3 & KS4 in all subjects, but only in English between KS2 & KS3 Girls improve between KS3 & KS4 in all subjects, but only in English between KS2 & KS3

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21 Differences in exam performance Controlling for school & pupil-level unobservables Controlling for school & pupil-level unobservables 1. Correlation between Girl & individual-level = 0! 1. Correlation between Girl & individual-level = 0! But, disaggregating we find that girls are unobservably better in English and worse in Maths & Science But, disaggregating we find that girls are unobservably better in English and worse in Maths & Science Note that KS2 & KS3 do not test other girl-good subjects – see YCS results Note that KS2 & KS3 do not test other girl-good subjects – see YCS results 2. The correlation between unobserved-school level & unobserved individual-level effects is greater than zero 2. The correlation between unobserved-school level & unobserved individual-level effects is greater than zero Unobservably good pupils go to unobservable good schools (i.e. middle class parents, catchment areas) Unobservably good pupils go to unobservable good schools (i.e. middle class parents, catchment areas) 3. The correlation between Girl & unobserved school-level effects is greater than zero (see YCS results) 3. The correlation between Girl & unobserved school-level effects is greater than zero (see YCS results) Girls go to unobservably better schools Girls go to unobservably better schools Girls are observably better at KS2 – schools therefore select them Girls are observably better at KS2 – schools therefore select them

22 Conclusions & implications for policy 1. Gender gap emerges once the GCSE system is introduced 1. Gender gap emerges once the GCSE system is introduced Learning & assessment methods favour girls Learning & assessment methods favour girls 2. Girls are better than boys 2. Girls are better than boys A) English A) English B) Selected into unobservably better schools B) Selected into unobservably better schools 3. No effect of single sex schooling 3. No effect of single sex schooling 4. Selective schools & poverty have a small effect on the gap 4. Selective schools & poverty have a small effect on the gap 5. Gap is greatest in English & languages and has closed in Maths & Science 5. Gap is greatest in English & languages and has closed in Maths & Science 6. Unobserved differences between schools (e.g. discipline, tiering, streaming) are important – YCS only 6. Unobserved differences between schools (e.g. discipline, tiering, streaming) are important – YCS only

23 Speculation A) Introduction of GCSE system created the gap A) Introduction of GCSE system created the gap B) Quasi-market exacerbated the gap B) Quasi-market exacerbated the gap changed incentives facing schools changed incentives facing schools select the best – girls select the best – girls Cumulative & self-perpetuating Cumulative & self-perpetuating Girls go to good schools Girls go to good schools But the gap stabilises But the gap stabilises Shocks A & B eventually burn out (equilibrium) Shocks A & B eventually burn out (equilibrium) The introduction of KS2 helps boys (fewer girl-good tests), which means they also sort into good schools The introduction of KS2 helps boys (fewer girl-good tests), which means they also sort into good schools


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