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Effects of separation by sexes in education in Spain

10th National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Analylsis of international educational indicators

Senior Researcher : Pablo Brañas Garza

Research Centre or Institution : Universidad de Granada


Over the course of the first year of the project, laboratory experiments were carried out in order to have a very large sample of students (almost 700, 57% women). In the sessions, the subjects completed the following tasks: a socio-demographic questionnaire, a survey about social preferences and social capital, three experiments (the dictator game, the ultimatum game and the trust game) and cognitive tests (CRT, Penn State, others). At the end, their right and left hands were scanned in order to calculate the digit ratio, i.e. the foetal exposure to testosterone before birth. This measurement is related to abstract intelligence and the willingness to take risks and, obviously, it is lower in men than in women. As it is prenatal, it is not determined by education or family income.

The first completed work analyses whether altruism (donations in the dictator game), once controlled for the digit ratio, is different for men and women. Once controlled for testosterone, the gender effect (the dummy which marks women) is not significant. However, the sign of the effect of testosterone is inverse in each gender, which means that it affects women differently from men.

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