CInSt Research Seminar
Silvia Griselda (University of Melbourne) has presented her paper: "Can the Format of Questions Explain the Gender Gap in Mathematics?" on regular CInSt research seminar on November, 19. Watch the video of the seminar following the link bellow.
Standardized assessments are widely used to determine educational and economic opportunities. These standardized assessments exclusively, or in large part, use multiple-choice questions. But multiple-choice exams may not be adequate for comparing students’ competencies across genders. In this paper, I show that female students receive lower marks when randomly assigned to exams with a larger proportion of multiple-choice questions. Specifically, a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of multiple-choice questions widens the gender difference in mathematics performance by 0.026 standard deviations in favor of men, an effect that represents about 50% of the overall gender gap. Moreover, a higher proportion of multiple-choice questions has negative spillovers to other open-ended questions on the same exam. Female students put differentially less effort than males into tests that contain a larger proportion of multiple-choice questions. I provide evidence suggesting that these results are driven by women’s lower confidence and by the stereotypes that women face in traditionally male domains
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