IdEP Seminar, Cécile Bonneau - "Gender Gap in High-Stakes Exams: What Role for Exam Preparation?"

Istituto di economia politica

Data: 19 Gennaio 2024 / 12:30 - 13:30

Online in MS Teams

Elite higher education institutions often rely on competitive entrance examinations, which are presumed to measure students’ abilities objectively. However, emerging evidence suggests a gender bias, with women frequently underperforming in high-stakes and competitive environments. This paper corroborates these findings within a highly selected group of elite STEM programs undergraduates in France. We extend our investigation beyond the effect of the high-stakes exam itself to consider the role of exam preparation in this gender performance gap. Our analysis reveals that heightened competitiveness in exam preparation exacerbates the gender performance gap. We also delve into a potential mechanism behind this widening gender disparity: the differential responsiveness to high-ability peers. These insights enhance our understanding of the gender gap in access to selective STEM higher education, which is particularly important in explaining the persistent gender pay gap at the top of the income distribution.

This paper is joint work with Léa Dousset.

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Meeting ID: 389 842 970 099 
Passcode: UuSDPq