Journal Article

Cheap Talk in the Classroom: How Biased Grading at School Explains Gender Differences in Achievements, Career Choices and Wages

Lydia Mechtenberg

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 76, issue 4, pages 1431-1459
Published in print October 2009 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00551.x
Cheap Talk in the Classroom: How Biased Grading at School Explains Gender Differences in Achievements, Career Choices and Wages

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  • Demand and Supply of Labour
  • Demographic Economics
  • Education and Research Institutions

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In this paper, I provide a theoretical explanation for the gender differences in education and on the labour market that are observed empirically in most OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, including the US Within a cheap talk model of grading, I show that biased grading in schools results in (1) boys outperforming girls in maths and sciences, (2) boys having more top and more bottom achievers in maths and sciences than girls, (3) girls outperforming boys in reading literacy, (4) female graduates enrolling in university studies more often than male graduates, (5) the predominance of female students in arts and humanities at the university, (6) the predominance of male students in maths and sciences at the university and (7) the gender wage gap on the labour market for the highly educated.

Keywords: I21; I23; J16; J24

Journal Article.  15434 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Demand and Supply of Labour ; Demographic Economics ; Education and Research Institutions

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