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Gender wage gap and its effect on test scores of immigrant students

Eiji Yamamura (Department of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka, Japan)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 5 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine how gender equality influences difference in cognitive skills between genders. For the closer examination of Guiso et al. (2008), restricting the sample to immigrants allows us to reduce the possibility of reverse causality.


Using PISA 2012 matched with the gender wage gap sourced from World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Index 2011, the author compares the effect of the wage gap among the areas of mathematics, science and reading.


Decreased gender wage gap leads to girls exhibiting a reduced incidence of lateness and skipping school compared with boys, which in turn improves girls’ test scores in mathematics, science and reading. The direct effect of the decreased wage gap on test scores exceeds its indirect effect on performance owing to influencing school attendance.


The findings of this paper provide evidence that higher female wage level relative to male wage level incentivizes female students to attend school, resulting in their achieving higher test scores not only for mathematics, but also for science and reading.



The author thanks Kunio Urakawa to collect the data and provide the knowledge about handling the data. This paper has benefited from valuable comments and constructive suggestions by two anonymous referees, Makiko Nakamuro, and participants at the autumn meetings of the Japanese Economic Association on September 10, 2016 (Waseda University). Finally, the author acknowledges financial support from the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research B (Grant No. 16H03628) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


Yamamura, E. (2019), "Gender wage gap and its effect on test scores of immigrant students", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 872-887.



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