Gender Gaps in Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills: Roles of SES and Gender Attitudes
Gender gaps in skills exist around the world but diﬀer remarkably among the high and low-and-middle income countries. This paper uses a unique data set with more than 20,000 adolescents in rural India to examine whether socioeconomic status and gender attitudes predict gender gaps in cognitive and noncognitive skills. We ﬁnd steep socioeconomic and attitude gradients in both cognitive and noncognitive skills, with bigger eﬀect sizes for the socioeconomic status (SES) gradients. Our results suggest that a sizable improvement in gender attitudes would yield important gains for females, but substantial gains would come only from large improvements in household socioeconomic status. Overall, the household socioeconomic and cultural environment is signiﬁcantly associated with the gender gaps in both cognitive and noncognitive skills.