Persistency in Teachers’ Grading Bias and Effects on Longer-Term Outcomes: University Admissions Exams and Choice of Field of Study

78 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2019

See all articles by Victor Lavy

Victor Lavy

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Rigissa Megalokonomou

University of Queensland - School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2019

Abstract

Recent research has focused on what shapes gender differences in academic achievement and students’ choice of university field of study. In this paper we examine how teachers’ gender role attitudes and stereotypes influence the gender gap by affecting the school environment. We explore the extent to which teachers’ gender bias in high school influences students’ school attendance and academic performance in high-stakes university admission exams and students’ choice of university field of study. We use data from a large number of high schools in Greece, where the performance in these high-stakes exams determines university admission. We measure teachers’ bias as the difference between a high school student’s school exam score and national exam score. We then define a teacher bias measure at the class level by the difference between boys’ and girls’ average gap between the school score and the national score. We link teachers over time to obtain a persistent teacher bias measure based on multiple classes, and to estimate the effect for later cohorts’ performance. We find a very high correlation of within-teacher gender biases measured in different classes, which reveals high persistency in teachers’ gender favoritism behavior. We then find substantial effects of these teacher biases on students’ school attendance and performance in university admission exams, quality of enrolled degree and the given field of study at the university. We also find that gender biases are more prevalent among low value added teachers, while the more effective teachers have an approximately neutral gender attitude. This suggests that less effective teachers can harm their students twice, by being a bad teacher and by discriminating against one of the genders.

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Suggested Citation

Lavy, Victor and Megalokonomou, Rigissa, Persistency in Teachers’ Grading Bias and Effects on Longer-Term Outcomes: University Admissions Exams and Choice of Field of Study (June 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3412695

Victor Lavy (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3245 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Rigissa Megalokonomou

University of Queensland - School of Economics ( email )

Brisbane, QLD 4072
Australia

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