Racial Representation Among Academics and Students’ Academic and Labor Market Outcomes

43 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2023

See all articles by Angus Holford

Angus Holford

University of Essex

Sonkurt Sen

University of Bonn


We study the impact of racial representation among academic staff on university students’ academic and labor market outcomes. We use administrative data on the universe of staff and students at all UK universities, linked to representative survey data on students’ post-graduation outcomes, exploiting idiosyncratic variation (conditional on a rich set of fixed effects and observable student, staff, and university-department level characteristics) in the proportion of racial minority academic staff to whom students are exposed. We find that own-race representation benefits the academic outcomes of South Asian students but not Black students, and no beneficial impacts of own-race representation on the labor market outcomes of either group. However, we do find that same race representation among academic staff significantly increases progression of Black and South Asian students to graduate study, suggesting that there may be benefits of same-race representation operating through provision of role models or domain-specific advice and guidance.

Keywords: Minorities, Representation, Returns to Education, Labor Market Outcomes

Suggested Citation

Holford, Angus and Sen, Sonkurt, Racial Representation Among Academics and Students’ Academic and Labor Market Outcomes. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4596209 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4596209

Angus Holford

University of Essex ( email )

Sonkurt Sen (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012

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