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Do Single-Sex Schools Enhance Students’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Outcomes?

Hyunjoon Park (), Jere Behrman and Jaesung Choi ()
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Hyunjoon Park: Department of Sociology and Education, University of Pennsylvania
Jaesung Choi: Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

PIER Working Paper Archive from Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: Despite women’s significant improvement in educational attainment, underrepresentation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) college majors persists in most countries. We address whether one particular institution – single-sex schools – may enhance female – or male – students’ STEM careers. Exploiting the unique setting in Korea where assignment to all-girls, all-boys or coeducational high schools is random, we move beyond associations to assess causal effects of single-sex schools. We use administrative data on national college entrance mathematics examination scores and a longitudinal survey of high school seniors that provide various STEM outcomes (mathematics and science interest and self-efficacy, expectations of a four-year college attendance and a STEM college major during the high school senior year, and actual attendance at a four-year college and choice of a STEM major two years after high school). We find significantly positive effects of all-boys schools consistently across different STEM outcomes, whereas the positive effect of all-girls schools is only found for mathematics scores.

Keywords: Africa; Economic Shocks; Child Schooling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N37 E30 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ure
Date: 2012-09-18
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