The effect of early educational tracking on the gender gaps in test achievement

Theresa Lorenz

In this thesis I investigate the impact of sorting students into different types of
secondary school at early ages (referred to as "early educational tracking") on the
gender gaps in test achievement. Between primary and secondary school one can observe increasing gender differences in test performance. While in reading this gender gap is in favour of girls, boys outperform girls in mathematics. By applying PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS data, I assess how cross-country variation in the age of first selection into the educational system affects the country-specific widening gender gap between primary and secondary school via a difference-in-differences framework. I find evidence that early tracking increases gender differences in reading. Postponing the age of first selection to the age of 15 would be required to eliminate this negative effect. In mathematics, a negative effect of early tracking on gender differences can neither be proven nor completely ruled out.

Projekt: Familienforschung in Österreich
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ÖFOS 2012
502005 Bildungsökonomie
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