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Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement

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  • Thomas S. Dee

Abstract

A prominent class of explanations for the gender gaps in student outcomes focuses on the interactions between students and teachers. In this study, I examine whether assignment to a same-gender teacher influences student achievement, teacher perceptions of student performance, and student engagement. This study’s identification strategy exploits a unique matchedpairs feature of a major longitudinal study, which provides contemporaneous data on student outcomes in two different subjects. Within-student comparisons indicate that assignment to a same-gender teacher significantly improves the achievement of both girls and boys as well as teacher perceptions of student performance and student engagement with the teacher’s subject.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:42:y:2007:i3:p528-554
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lucia Nixon & Michael Robinson, 1999. "The educational attainment of young women: Role model effects of female high school faculty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(2), pages 185-194, May.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    3. Robst, John & Keil, Jack & Russo, Dean, 1998. "The effect of gender composition of faculty on student retention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 429-439, October.
    4. Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1999. "Further estimates of the economic return to schooling from a new sample of twins," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 149-157, April.
    5. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel D. Goldhaber & Dominic J. Brewer, 1995. "Do Teachers' Race, Gender, and Ethnicity Matter? Evidence from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 547-561, April.
    6. Victor Lavy, 2004. "Do Gender Stereotypes Reduce Girls' Human Capital Outcomes? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284.
    10. Thomas S. Dee & Sarah R. Cohodes, 2008. "Out-of-Field Teachers and Student Achievement," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(1), pages 7-32, January.
    11. David Neumark & Rosella Gardecki, 1998. "Women Helping Women? Role Model and Mentoring Effects on Female Ph.D. Students in Economics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 220-246.
    12. Lavy, Victor, 2008. "Do gender stereotypes reduce girls' or boys' human capital outcomes? Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2083-2105, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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