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

  • Mary O'Malley Borg
  • Harriet Stranahan
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    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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    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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