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The effect of gender and race on student performance in principles of economics: the importance of personality type

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  • Mary O'Malley Borg
  • Harriet Stranahan
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    Abstract

    Do women and minorities perform more poorly in economics courses than their white male counterparts? There are a number of studies that indicate that they do (Siegfried, 1979; Ferber, et al., 1983; Lumsden and Scott, 1987; Gohmann and Specter, 1989; Watts and Lynch, 1989; Anderson, et al., 1994). In addition, there are some studies that indicate that students' personality types adversely affect their performance in economics courses, as well (Borg and Shapiro, 1996; Zeigert, 2000). However, no one has yet studied how a student's personality type combines with race and gender to affect performance in economics courses. To explore this issue, this study tests for the statistical significance of a number of interaction effects between race and gender and the Kiersey-Bates temperament types in an ordered probit model explaining a student's grade in Principles of Macroeconomics. It is concluded that race and gender do matter in a student's performance in Principles of Macroeconomics, but not in a simple, direct way. Race and gender combine with temperament type to form more subtle, interactive effects on a student's probability of success in economics. In our particular sample of 119 students at the University of North Florida, female NF and NT students and non-white NT students performed more poorly in Principles of Macroeconomics than their counterparts who did not have these gender/temperament or race/temperament combinations.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840110039249
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 589-598

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:34:y:2002:i:5:p:589-598

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RAEC20

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    Cited by:
    1. Sue Stockly, 2009. "Is Race a Determinant of Student Performance in Economics?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 181-195, December.
    2. Tsui-Fang Lin & Jennjou Chen, 2006. "Cumulative class attendance and exam performance," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(14), pages 937-942.
    3. Kim Sosin & Betty J. Lecha & Rajshree Agarwal & Robin L. Bartlett & Joseph I. Daniel, 2004. "Efficiency in the Use of Technology in Economic Education: Some Preliminary Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 253-258, May.
    4. Peter Davies & Ross Guest, 2010. "What effect do we really have on students' understanding and attitudes? How do we know?," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 9(1), pages 6-9.

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