PSC Working Paper Series

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Working Paper

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Park, Hyunjoon, Jere R. Behrman and Jaesung Choi. 2012. "Causal Effects of Single-Sex Schools on College Entrance Exams and College Attendance: Random Assignment in Seoul High Schools." PSC Working Paper Series, PSC 10-01.


Despite the voluminous literature on the potentials of single-sex schools, there is no consensus on the effects of single-sex schools because of student selection of school types. We exploit a unique feature of schooling in Seoul, the random assignment of students into single-sex versus coeducational high schools, to assess causal effects of single-sex schools on college entrance exam scores and college attendance. Our validation of the random assignment shows comparable socioeconomic backgrounds and prior academic achievement of students attending single-sex schools and coeducational schools, which increases the credibility of our causal estimates of single-sex school effects. Attending all-boys schools or all-girls schools rather than attending coeducational schools is significantly associated with higher average scores on Korean and English test scores. Single-sex schools have a higher percentage of graduates who attended four-year colleges and a lower percentage of graduates who attended two-year junior colleges than coeducational schools. The positive effects of single-sex schools remain substantial, even after taking into account various school-level variables such as teacher quality, the student-teacher ratio, the proportion of students receiving lunch support, and whether the schools are public or private.


Academic achievement, Attendance, Causal effects, Causal inferences, Causation, Coeducational schools, College attendance, College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), Consequences, Education, Equalization Policy, Female teachers, Four-year colleges, Gender, High school, Higher education, Korea, Korean government, Korean high schools, Learning, Male teachers, Outcomes, Public education, Public lottery, Random school assignment, Regression analysis, Same-gender teachers, Single-sex public education, Single-sex schools, Teachers, Two-year colleges, United States


Date Posted: 04 January 2010

This document has been peer reviewed.