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Learning styles and performance in principles of economics: does the gender gap exist?

David Sabiston (), Ambrose Leung () and Gianfranco Terrazzano ()
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David Sabiston: Mount Royal University
Ambrose Leung: Mount Royal University
Gianfranco Terrazzano: University of Calgary

Economics Bulletin, 2017, vol. 37, issue 4, 2935-2944

Abstract: Do male students in principles of economics courses outperform female students? The economic education literature is replete with studies suggesting that male performance – as measured by final course grades or grades on standardized tests – exceeds female performance. Recent studies, however, indicate a narrowing of this gender gap when additional attributes such as personality traits, expectations, and/or motivation are included in the traditional education production function. Using a sample of students from principles of economics courses taught at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, this study investigates the relationship between gender and performance accounting for several different measures of abilities and attributes. Adopting the VARK (visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinesthetic) inventory as a representation of student learning styles, we find a reversal of the gender gap; female students outperform male students.

Keywords: Gender gap; learning styles; principles of economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-12-28
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