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Why do boys and girls make different educational choices? The influence of expected earnings and test scores

Benoît Rapoport and Claire Thibout

Economics of Education Review, 2018, vol. 62, issue C, 205-229

Abstract: Girls frequently choose educational pathways that lead to lower-paid jobs and less prestigious careers, despite performing as well as boys at school. Using a cohort of French pupils, we estimate a model of educational choices in which the anticipated cost of choosing a pathway depends on the skills in each subject and is allowed to differ between boys and girls. We show that choices in high school and in higher education are partly driven by expected earnings for boys but less for girls. Boys choose more often courses with a component in Sciences and competitive pathways. In high school, gender differences are higher for pupils at the same level in Mathematics and Humanities and are largely due to differences in marginal impact of test scores, which are lower for girls. In higher education, while partly driven by test scores, choices seem to largely depend on other gender differences (tastes, norms).

Keywords: Study choices; Salary wage differentials; Test scores; Gender stereotypes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 J16 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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