Stereotype Threat, Role Models, and Demographic Mismatch in an Elite Professional School Setting
45 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2018 Last revised: 25 Aug 2018
Date Written: January 17, 2018
Ten years of administrative data from a diverse, private, top-100 law school are used to examine the ways in which female and nonwhite students benefit from exposure to demographically similar faculty in first-year required law courses. Arguably causal impacts of exposure to same-sex and same-race instructors on course-specific outcomes such as course grades are identified by leveraging conditionally random classroom assignments and a two-way (student and classroom) fixed effects strategy. Having an other-sex instructor reduces the likelihood of receiving a good grade (A or A-) by one percentage point (3%) and having an other-race instructor reduces the likelihood of receiving a good grade by three percentage points (10%). The effects of student-instructor demographic mismatch are particularly salient for nonwhite female students. These results provide novel evidence of the pervasiveness of role-model effects in elite settings and of the graduate-school education production function.
Keywords: Demographic Mismatch, Law School, Gender, Race
JEL Classification: I23, J15, J44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation