It is a global trend that girls are performing better than boys academically. However, little is known about the gender gap of academic performance in rural China where the patriarchal gender norm is still prevalent. In particular, how the gender values shift the male and female students’ academic performance is largely under studied. Using a recent data set collected from two provinces in rural China, we found that overall female students are doing better than a male, which is similar to the findings to other settings, but they still perform worse in math test compared to their male counterparts. We found that egalitarian gender values benefit students’ academic outcome, and such benefits are much larger for girls than for boys. Future policy should target more on improving children’s gender equality awareness, despite that its beneficial outcome is much stronger for girls than boys.
Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth