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A Professor Like Me: The Influence of Instructor Gender on College Achievement

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  • Florian Hoffmann
  • Philip Oreopoulos

Abstract

Many wonder whether teacher gender plays an important role in higher education by influencing student achievement and subject interest. The data used in this paper help identify average effects from male and female college students assigned to male or female teachers. We find instructor gender plays only a minor role in determining college student achievement. Nevertheless, the small effects provide evidence that gender role models matter to some college students. A same-sex instructor increases average grade performance by at most 5 percent of its standard deviation and decreases the likelihood of dropping a class by 1.2 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "A Professor Like Me: The Influence of Instructor Gender on College Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:44:y:2009:i2:p479-494
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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. 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.
    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. Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "Professor Qualities and Student Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 83-92, February.
    5. Thomas Diprete & Claudia Buchmann, 2006. "Gender-specific trends in the value of education and the emerging gender gap in college completion," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(1), pages 1-24, February.
    6. repec:pri:edures:23.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Brandice J. Canes & Harvey S. Rosen, 1995. "Following in Her Footsteps? Faculty Gender Composition and Women's Choices of College Majors," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 486-504, April.
    8. 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.
    9. 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, pages 152-157.
    10. 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.
    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.
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    JEL classification:

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

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