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A Community College Instructor like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom

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Author Info

  • Fairlie, Robert W.
  • Hoffmann, Florian
  • Oreopoulos, Philip

Abstract

This paper uses detailed administrative data from one of the largest community colleges in the United States to quantify the extent to which academic performance depends on students being of similar race or ethnicity to their instructors. To address the concern of endogenous sorting, we use both student and classroom fixed effects and focus on those with limited course enrolment options. We also compare sensitivity in the results from using within versus across section instructor type variation. Given the computational complexity of the 2-way fixed effects model with a large set of fixed effects 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 minority students falls by roughly half when taught by a minority instructor. In models that allow for a full set of ethnic and racial interactions between students and instructors, we find African-American students perform particularly better when taught by African-American instructors.

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File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2084%20-%20Fairlie,%20Hoffman,%20Oreopoulos.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2011-27.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 27 Oct 2011
Date of revision: 27 Oct 2011
Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2011-27

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Web page: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/

Related research

Keywords: Higher Education; Student Outcomes and Skills; Teacher and Student Interactions; Economics of Minorities and Races; Discrimination; 2-way Fixed Effect;

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References

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  1. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144, August.
  2. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2008. "Is the gender gap in school performance affected by the sex of the teacher," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 37-53, February.
  3. David S. Lee, 2005. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," NBER Working Papers 11721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
  5. Thomas Cornelissen, 2008. "The Stata command felsdvreg to fit a linear model with two high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 170-189, June.
  6. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2011. "Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-33, April.
  7. Lucia Nixon & Michael Robinson, 1999. "The educational attainment of young women: Role model effects of female high school faculty," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 185-194, May.
  8. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "Teachers, Race and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Dominic Brewer & Daniel Goldhaber, 1995. "Do teachers' race, gender, and ethnicity matter? Evidence from the NELS," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 547-561, April.
  10. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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Cited by:
  1. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Hugo Ñopo & Jorge Luis Castañeda, 2012. "Equidad en la Diferencia: Políticas para la Movilidad Social de Grupos de Identidad. Misión de Movilidad Social y Equidad," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010319, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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