Department of Economics
London School of Economics
London WC2A 2AE
Institutional Affiliation: London School of Economics
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2019||Born in the Family: Preferences for Boys and the Gender Gap in Math|
with , , : w25535
We study the correlation between parental gender attitudes and the performance in mathematics of girls using two different approaches and data. First, we identify families with a preference for boys by using fertility stopping rules in a population of households whose children attend public schools in Florida. Girls growing up in a boy-biased family score 3 percentage points lower on math tests when compared to girls raised in other families. Second, we find similar strong effects when we study the correlations between girls’ performance in mathematics and maternal gender role attitudes, using evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We conclude that socialization at home can explain a non-trivial part of the observed gender disparities in mathematics performance and docume...