Can Introducing Single-Sex Education into Low-Performing Schools Improve Academics, Arrests, and Teen Motherhood?

C. Kirabo Jackson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 2010, the Ministry of Education in Trinidad and Tobago converted 20 low-performing secondary schools from coeducational to single-sex. I exploit these conversions to identify the policy-relevant causal effect of introducing single-sex education into existing schools (holding other school inputs constant). After accounting for student selection, boys in single-sex cohorts at conversion schools score higher on national exams taken around age 15, both boys and girls take more advanced coursework, and girls perform better on secondary-school completion exams. There are also important non-academic effects; all-boys cohorts have fewer arrests as teens, and all-girls cohorts have lower teen pregnancy rates. Survey evidence suggests that these single-sex conversion effects reflect both direct gender peer effects due to interactions between classmates, and indirect effects generated through changes in teacher behavior. (JEL I20, J00)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-44
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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