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ERIC Number: ED532861
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 52
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Do Professors Really Perpetuate the Gender Gap in Science? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in a French Higher Education Institution. CEE DP 138
Breda, Thomas; Ly, Son Thierry
Centre for the Economics of Education (NJ1)
Stereotypes, role models played by teachers and social norms influence girls' academic self-concept and push girls to choose humanities rather than science. Do recruiters reinforce this strong selection by discriminating more against girls in more scientific subjects? Using the entrance exam of a French higher education institution (the Ecole Normale Superieure) as a natural experiment, we show the opposite: discrimination goes in favor of females in more male-connoted subjects (e.g. math, philosophy) and in favor of males in more female-connoted subjects (e.g. literature, biology), inducing a rebalancing of sex ratios between students recruited for a research career in science and humanities majors. We identify discrimination by systematic differences in students' scores between oral tests (non-blind toward gender) and anonymous written tests (blind toward gender). By making comparisons of these oral/written scores differences between different subjects for a given student, we are able to control both for a student's ability in each subject and for her overall ability at oral exams. The mechanisms likely to drive this positive discrimination toward the minority gender are also discussed. (Contains 15 tables, 3 figures and 33 footnotes.)
Centre for the Economics of Education. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7955-7595; e-mail: cee@lse.ac.uk; Web site: http://cee.lse.ac.uk
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics & Political Science, Centre for the Economics of Education
Identifiers - Location: France