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Teaching accreditation exams reveal grading biases favor women in male-dominated disciplines in France (2016)

Resource Type
  • Hillion, Mélina (Paris School of Economics, CREST)
  • Breda, Thomas (Paris School of Economics, CNRS)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Gender discrimination; Natural experiment; Gender gap in Science
  • Abstract

    Discrimination against women is seen as one of the possible causes behind their underrepresentation in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. We show that this is not the case for the competitive exams used to recruit almost all French secondary and postsecondary teachers and professors. Comparisons of oral non gender-blind tests with written gender-blind tests for about 100,000 individuals observed in 11 different fields over the period 2006-2013 reveal a bias in favor of women that is strongly increasing with the extent of a field’s male-domination. This bias turns from 3 to 5 percentile ranks for men in literature and foreign languages to about 10 percentile ranks for women in math, physics or philosophy. These findings have implications for the debate over what interventions are appropriate to increase the representation of women in fields in which they are currently underrepresented. When citing our data, please cite the French Ministry of Education as provider of the initial data from which our data is generated. On 2016-08-20, the openICPSR web site was moved to new software. In the migration process, some projects were not published in the new system because the decisions made in the old site did not map easily to the new setup. This project is temporarily available as restricted data while ICPSR verifies that all files were migrated correctly.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2006-09-01 / 2013-07-30
Geographic Coverage
  • France
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.

Update Metadata: 2016-08-28 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2016-07-20

Hillion, Mélina; Breda, Thomas (2016): Teaching accreditation exams reveal grading biases favor women in male-dominated disciplines in France (2016). Version: 2. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.