Gender, Income, and Numeracy Test Scores
Molly Paterson (),
Jaai Parasnis () and
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Molly Paterson: Monash University
No 2022-02, Monash Economics Working Papers from Monash University, Department of Economics
The performance of students in numeracy tests reveals gaps based on students’ gender and household income. In this paper, using longitudinal data on Australian children, we show the interrelationship between (i) socioeconomic gaps based on early-life household income, and (ii) the gender gap in numeracy. We ﬁnd that between Grades 3 to 9, boys have a distinct advantage in numeracy scores over girls, which widens over time. We also ﬁnd that, by Grade 9, poorer female students are doubly disadvantaged. This disadvantage does not arise because of differences in socioeconomic status between boys and girls but because the effect of a lower socioeconomic background on test scores is signiﬁcant only for girls. We ﬁnd that mother’s education and labor force status play an important role in the emergence of gender gaps, at both ends (top and bottom) of the income distribution. We conﬁrm that early life circumstances continue to impact student’s achievement well into adolescence and these exacerbate gender gaps, thus demonstrating the importance of targeted early interventions to address gaps in key skills acquisition for the modern economy.
Keywords: Australia; parental education; household income; numeracy; gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I24 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-gen, nep-his, nep-lab and nep-ure
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Working Paper: Gender, Income, and Numeracy Test Scores (2022)
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