Peer gender and schooling: evidence from Ethiopia

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This paper studies how classmate gender composition matters for school absences and test scores in a context characterized by strong social norms and scarce school resources. We base our results on a unique survey of students across classrooms and schools in Ethiopia, exploiting random assignment of students to classrooms. We find a strong asymmetry: while females benefit from exposure to more female classmates with reduced absenteeism and improvement on math test scores, males are unaffected. We further find that exposure to more female classmates improves motivation and participation in class, and in general, that the effects of classmate gender composition are consistent with social interaction effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Capital
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2023


  • peer effects
  • gender
  • school performance
  • Ethiopia


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