Discussion paper

DP16895 Gender, Income, and Numeracy Test Scores

We study the interrelationship between socioeconomic (SES) gaps based on household income, parental education, and labor force status and the gender gap in numeracy. A composite measure of SES confirms that boys from lower SES are more disadvantaged. However, disentangling the three aspects, only girls from lower-income households are doubly disadvantaged by grade 9. At the top of the income distribution, the gender gap is driven by an advantage for boys with stay-at-home mothers or lower education than fathers. In contrast, a mother’s higher education and labor force status are associated with higher test scores for girls across the entire income distribution.


Paterson, M, J Parasnis and M Rendall (2022), ‘DP16895 Gender, Income, and Numeracy Test Scores‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16895. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16895