Gender peer effects in university: Evidence from a randomized experiment

H. Oosterbeek, R.J.G. van Ewijk

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recent studies for primary and secondary education find positive effects of the share of females in the classroom on achievement of males and females. This study examines whether these results can be extrapolated to higher education. We conduct an experiment in which the shares of females in workgroups for first year students in economics and business are manipulated and students are randomly assigned to these groups. Males tend to postpone, but not abandon, their dropout decision when surrounded by more females and perform worse on courses with high math content. There is also a modest reduction in absenteeism early in the year. Overall, however, we find no substantial gender peer effects on achievement. This in spite of the fact that according to students' perceptions, both their own, and their peers' behavior are influenced by the share of females. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

PT: J; NR: 23; TC: 0; J9: ECON EDUC REV; PG: 13; GA: AD8CU; UT: WOS:000333494900005


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