A Community College Instructor Like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom
AbstractDetailed administrative data from a large and diverse community college are used to examine whether academic performance depends on whether students are the same race or ethnicity as their instructors. To address the concern of endogenous sorting, we focus on students with restricted course enrollment options due to low registration priorities, courses with no within-term or within-year racial variation in instructors, and models that include both student and classroom fixed effects. Given the computational complexity of the 2-way fixed effects model we rely on numerical algorithms that exploit the particular structure of the model’s normal equations. We find that the performance gap in terms of class dropout and pass rates between white and underrepresented minority students falls by roughly half when taught by an underrepresented minority instructor. The racial performance gap in grades is also lower with minority instructors. Results from detailed racial interactions indicate that African-American students perform particularly better when taught by African-American instructors.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17381.
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fairlie, Robert W., Florian Hoffmann, and Philip Oreopoulos. "A community college instructor like me: Race and ethnicity interactions in the classroom" American Economic Review (forthcoming)
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Other versions of this item:
- Fairlie, Robert W. & Hoffmann, Florian & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2011. "A Community College Instructor like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-27, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 27 Oct 2011.
- Fairlie, Robert W. & Hoffmann, Florian & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2011. "A Community College Instructor Like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom," IZA Discussion Papers 5983, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-09-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2011-09-16 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2011-09-16 (Labour Economics)
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