Same Work, Lower Grade? Student Ethnicity and Teachers' Subjective Assessments

34 Pages Posted: 18 May 2009 Last revised: 27 Sep 2010

Reyn van Ewijk

University of Mainz

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 24, 2010

Abstract

Previous research shows that ethnic minority students perform poorer in school when they are taught by ethnic majority teachers. Why this is the case was unclear. This paper focuses on one important potential explanation: I examine whether ethnic majority teachers grade minority and majority students differently for the same work. Using an experiment, I rule out the existence of such a direct grading bias. I do find indirect evidence for alternative explanations: teachers report lower expectations and unfavorable attitudes that both likely affect their behavior towards minority students, potentially inducing them to perform below their ability level. Effects of having majority teachers on minority students’ grades hence seem more likely to be indirect than direct.

Keywords: Education, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Grading, Experiment

JEL Classification: I2, J15

Suggested Citation

van Ewijk, Reyn, Same Work, Lower Grade? Student Ethnicity and Teachers' Subjective Assessments (August 24, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1402666 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1402666

Reyn Van Ewijk (Contact Author)

University of Mainz ( email )

Saarstrasse 21
Mainz, D-55099
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.econometrics.economics.uni-mainz.de/392.php

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