## Monday, August 19, 2013

### Leaving Boys Behind: Gender Disparities in High Academic Achievement

Using three decades of data from the "Monitoring the Future"

cross-sectional surveys, this paper shows that, from the 1980s to the

2000s, the mode of girls' high school GPA distribution has shifted

from "B" to "A", essentially "leaving boys behind" as the mode of

boys' GPA distribution stayed at "B".

The authors' analysis reveals that gender

differences in post-secondary expectations, controlling for school

ability, and as early as 8th grade are the most important factor

accounting for this trend. Increases in the growing proportion of

girls who aim for a post-graduate degree are sufficient to account

for the increase over time in the proportion of girls earning "A's".

The larger relative share of boys obtaining "C" and C+" can be

accounted for by a higher frequency of school misbehavior and a

higher proportion of boys aiming for a two-year college degree.

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