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The evolution of gender gaps in numeracy and literacy between childhood and young adulthood

Borgonovi, F; Choi, A; Paccagnella, M; (2021) The evolution of gender gaps in numeracy and literacy between childhood and young adulthood. Economics of Education Review , 82 , Article 102119. 10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102119.

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Abstract

Numeracy and literacy are important foundation skills which command significant wage premia in modern labour markets. The existence of gender differences in these skills is therefore of potential concern, and has spurred a large amount of research, especially with respect to numeracy skills. Still, little is known about the moment in which such gaps emerge, how they evolve, and if this evolution differs across countries. We use data from large scale international assessments to follow representative samples of birth-cohorts over time, and analyse how gender gaps in numeracy and literacy evolve from age 10 to age 27. We find that the advantage of boys in numeracy is small at age 10, but grows considerably between age 15 and 27. The gender gap in literacy follows a very different pattern: it is small at age 10, large and in favour of girls at age 15, and negligible by age 27.

Type: Article
Title: The evolution of gender gaps in numeracy and literacy between childhood and young adulthood
DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102119
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102119
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Gender gaps, Skills, Numeracy, Literacy, Large-scale assessments
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127499
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