Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Don't put your daughter in a mixed-sex school : some evidence

Casual empiricism suggests that parents in Ireland want their daughters to go to single sex schools but their sons to mixed sex schools. Trying to measure the effects of these different school types is obviously tricky because it is endogenous. The paper below looks at the case of girls in Switzerland with some quite interesting results – one that will probably be welcomed by a lot of Irish parents.

Academic Performance and Single-Sex Schooling: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland

Gerald Eisenkopf, Zohal Hessami,Urs Fischbacher, Heinrich Ursprung

We study the effects of random assignment to coeducational and single-sex classes on the academic performance of female high school students. Our estimation results show that single-sex schooling improves the performance of female students in mathematics. This positive effect increases if the single-sex class is taught by a male teacher. An accompanying survey reveals that single-sex schooling also strengthens female students’ selfconfidence and renders the self-assessment of their mathematics skills more level-headed. Single-sex schooling thus has profound implications for human capital formation and the mind-set of female students.

No comments: