ACLE Empirical Legal Studies Seminar with Patricia Funk (Università della Svizzera italiana). Faculty of Law - Oudemanhuispoort 4-6 - Room F0.02. Title: "Gender Differences in Academic Performance: The Role of Punishment in Multiple Choice Exams".
We investigate whether penalizing wrong answers in multiple choices tests makes girls relatively worse off compared to a situation with no penalties attached to wrong answers. With a cohort of more than 500 undergraduate students of a major Spanish university, we created a final microeconomics exam, which was composed of two di fferent parts: one carrying punishment, and one not carrying punishment for wrong answers. Students were allocated in a random way to the permutation (which differed in which part of the exam was punished). We find that the penalties did not hurt girls. Girls performed better than boys in both parts of the exam, but more so in the part with penalties. While risk aversion did not matter for overall scores, ability did. High-ability students performed better under punishment, and these were more likely to be the girls.
*Coauthored by Helena Perrone (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE)
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