Masters Thesis

Gender Peer Effects in Education: Evidence from Burkina Faso's Bright Program

Gender peer effects on the educational production function are one of the most important determinants in choosing the most optimal sorting of males and female students into a school, grade and classroom. the Burkinablé Response to Improve Girls’ Chances to Succeed (BRIGHT) project created high-quality “girl-friendly” schools with the goal of increasing the number of female student enrollment and academic achievements for all students across the 10 lowest performing provinces. the BRIGHT project creates a unique opportunity to measure the impact of an increased proportion of female students on male students’ academic performance. I exploit the discontinuity that is created from the selection process of BRIGHT schools by employing a regression discontinuity design 1 year after implementation of the program. I find variation in math and French achievement for male students who are exposed to female students. the empirical results presented in this paper suggest that a higher female cohort composition has a positive effect on male students’ test scores.

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