Boys Lag Behind: How Teachers' Gender Biases Affect Student Achievement

61 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2016

See all articles by Camille Terrier

Camille Terrier

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


I use a combination of blind and non-blind test scores to show that middle school teachers favor girls when they grade. This favoritism, estimated in the form of individual teacher effects, has long-term consequences: as measured by their national evaluations three years later, male students make less progress than their female counterparts. Gender-biased grading accounts for 21 percent of boys falling behind girls in math during middle school. On the other hand, girls who benefit from gender bias in math are more likely to select a science track in high school.

Keywords: teachers, gender biases, progress, achievement inequalities

JEL Classification: I21, I24, J16

Suggested Citation

Terrier, Camille, Boys Lag Behind: How Teachers' Gender Biases Affect Student Achievement. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10343, Available at SSRN: or

Camille Terrier (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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