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The gender divide in educational achievement: an international analysis of its causes, magnitude and relevance

10th National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Analylsis of international educational indicators

Senior Researcher : Pau Marí Klose

Research Centre or Institution : Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos(CSIC). Madrid.


In recent years, in different countries, the educational performance of women has been systematically and consistently better than that of men. Explaining this gap has become one of the main challenges in the sociology of education. The study undertaken in this project proposes a comparative analysis of these gaps in order to explain their origin, magnitude and sociological relevance. In the course of 2012, two lines of research were developed in relation to these questions. In a first work, Looking inside the Gender Gap in Educational Achievement: A Comparative Analysis of its Individual, Family and Contextual Causes, comparative and longitudinal PISA data were used to analyse the impact of the educational homogamy of the parents on their children's educational results. The main conclusion obtained is that the educational homogamy of the parents with advanced studies tends to benefit girls more than boys. In Gender gaps in PISA reading scores. How do parental practices and schooling experiences matter?, the association between educational practices of the parents and the size of the education gap between men and women is analysed in the different countries which accompany the PISA test given to children with a survey of the parents. The main conclusion is that intensive parental practices of support to reading in early infancy benefit boys more than girls, reducing the gender gap in results in the reading comprehension test. On the other hand, there is no evidence that parental practices during adolescence influence the results of boys or girls.

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