School Allocation Policy and the Reverse Gender Gap in Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Quasi-experiment in Hong Kong

Publication Abstract

PDF Xu, Duoduo, and Xiaogang Wu. 2015. "School Allocation Policy and the Reverse Gender Gap in Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Quasi-experiment in Hong Kong." PSC Research Report No. 15-851. 12 2015.

This paper examines the impact of school allocation policy on gender disparity in academic achievement in Hong Kong, using a major policy shift in 2002 as a quasi-experiment. Based on two waves of data from TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) in 2003 and 2007 and the difference-in-differences (DID) method, we present strong evidence that the policy change towards equal opportunity has actually led to an enlarged gender gap in academic achievement in favor of girls. The reverse gender gap is largely due to the fact that girls are increasingly more likely to secure enrollment in better-quality secondary schools than boys. Our results suggest the importance of equal opportunity for women in capitalizing their potential better learning behaviors and social skills in socioeconomic attainment.

Country of focus: China.

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