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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 5 No. 1 (January 2013)

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The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior

Article Citation

Bertrand, Marianne, and Jessica Pan. 2013. "The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(1): 32-64.

DOI: 10.1257/app.5.1.32

Abstract

This paper explores the importance of the home and school environments in explaining the gender gap in disruptive behavior. We document large differences in the gender gap across key features of the home environment -- boys do especially poorly in broken families. In contrast, we find little impact of the early school environment on noncognitive gaps. Differences in endowments explain a small part of boys' noncognitive deficit in single-mother families. More importantly, noncognitive returns to parental inputs differ markedly by gender. Broken families are associated with worse parental inputs, and boys' noncognitive development, unlike that of girls', appears extremely responsive to such inputs. (JEL I21, J12, J13, J16, Z13)

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Authors

Bertrand, Marianne (U Chicago and IZA, Bonn)
Pan, Jessica (National U Singapore)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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