OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

1815-199X (online)
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

A Bird's Eye View of Gender Differences in Education in OECD Countries You or your institution have access to this content

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Angelica Salvi del Pero1, Alexandra Bytchkova1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

05 Sep 2013
Bibliographic information

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This paper presents an overview of gender differences in education outcomes in OECD countries. A rich set of indicators describes the improvement of educational attainment among women over the past decades, and various dimensions of male under-performance in education. Possible explanatory factors include incentives provided by changing employment opportunities for women, demographic trends, as well as the higher sensitivity of boys to disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Gender differences in field of study and in performance by subject are found to be related to attitudes and self-perceptions towards academic subjects, which are in turn influenced by social norms. A number of policy options to address gender gaps are presented in the final section of the paper.
college major, student performance, gender, education attainment, attitudes, PISA
JEL Classification:
  • I21: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Analysis of Education
  • I23: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Higher Education; Research Institutions
  • I28: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education: Government Policy
  • J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
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