Date / Time

9:00 am 13/03/2019 -

12:00 pm 13/03/2019


Room 650, Social Sciences Building (A02)


The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia

The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia


RSVP to Janelle Kenchington ( by Wednesday 6 March, noting any dietary requirements.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course and the University of Sydney, School of Economics, will be hosting a mini-workshop by Professor Shelly Lundberg (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Professor Simon Burgess (University of Bristol).

Professor Shelly Lundberg will present her talk, ‘Aspirations and the Educational Gender Gap’

Around the world, with the exception of parts of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the educational attainment of young women now exceeds that of young men. The fraction of women who have attained tertiary education is substantially higher than that of men in almost all OECD countries, and women now account for about 60% of four-year college graduates in the United States. Though some studies have suggested that boys’ non-cognitive skill development is more vulnerable to family disadvantage and suffer from a “behavioral deficit” relative to girls that limits their educational attainment, the educational gender gap is not limited to some socioeconomic groups and observed behavior problems explain little of the difference. Surveys in several countries find that boys report lower educational aspirations and more negative attitudes to schooling than do girls, and this gap widens during adolescence, raising the possibility that loss of interest in education is a common adolescent process for boys, as loss of confidence in math is for girls. Using data on young cohorts of men and women from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), I examine changes in reported educational desires and expectations between the first two waves of the study, and their associations with parenting behaviors, school performance, and final educational attainment.

Professor Simon Burgess will present ‘Teacher peer observation and student test scores: Evidence from a field experiment in English secondary schools’.

This paper reports improvements in teacher job performance, as measured by student test scores, resulting from a program of peer evaluation. In a new field experiment, teachers working at the same school observed and scored each other’s teaching. Students in randomly-assigned treatment schools scored 0.06-0.08σ higher on high-stakes math and English GCSE exams. Within each treatment school, teachers were further randomly assigned to roles: observer, observee, or both. Performance improved for both observers and observees, perhaps slightly more for observers. The typical treatment school completed 2-3 observations per observee teacher. Variation in observations was generated in part by randomly assigning the suggested number of observations. Program benefits were quite similar across the low and high (2*low) dose conditions.