Academic achievement and the gender composition of preschool staff

Gørtz, M., Johansen, E. R. & Simonsen, M.
Labour Economics, 55:241-258.


The study investigates whether the gender composition of staff in Danish kindergartens affects children’s performance in school. 


The results show that an increase in the proportion of male employees in kindergartens has a positive effect on children’s results regarding standardised tests in school. The effect is greater for boys than for girls and for children who have previously had few male role models in their lives. According to the researchers, the results show that there is room for political initiatives to increase the proportion of men working in kindergartens.


The researchers analysed data collected by Statistics Denmark, and compiled information about kindergarten children (when they started kindergarten, when they started school, the results they received on standardised tests, as well as socioeconomic background variables) with statistics on staff in Danish kindergartens (gender, age, education and work experience). 


Gørtz, M., Johansen, E. R. & Simonsen, M. (2018). “Academic achievement and the gender composition of preschool staff”. Labour Economics, 55:241-258.

Financed by

The Danish Council for Strategic Research, Denmark; Centre for Strategic Research in Education, Denmark; The Danish National Research Foundation, Denmark