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Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Alesina

    () (Department of Economics, Harvard University, IGIER Bocconi, NBER and CEPR)

  • Michela Carlana

    () (Harvard Kennedy School and IZA)

  • Eliana La Ferrara

    () (Department of Economics, IGIER and LEAP, Bocconi University)

  • Paolo Pinotti

    () (Department of Social and Political Sciences at Bocconi University, DONDENA, and Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti)

Abstract

If individuals become aware of their stereotypes, do they change their behavior? We study this question in the context of teachers' bias in grading immigrants and native children in middle schools. Teachers give lower grades to immigrant students compared to natives who have the same performance on standardized, blindly-graded tests. We then relate differences in grading to teachers' stereotypes, elicited through an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We find that math teachers with stronger stereotypes give lower grades to immigrants compared to natives with the same performance. Literature teachers do not differentially grade immigrants based on their own stereotypes. Finally, we share teachers' own IAT score with them, randomizing the timing of disclosure around the date on which they assign term grades. All teachers informed of their stereotypes before term grading increase grades assigned to immigrants. Revealing stereotypes may be a powerful intervention to decrease discrimination, but it may also induce a reaction from individuals who were not acting in a biased way.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Michela Carlana & Eliana La Ferrara & Paolo Pinotti, 2018. "Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1817, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1817
    as

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    File URL: http://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_17_18.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michela Carlana & Eliana La Ferrara & Paolo Pinotti, 2017. "Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children," Working Papers 111, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    2. Facchini, Giovanni & Margalit, Yotam & Nakata, Hiroyuki, 2016. "Countering Public Opposition to Immigration: The Impact of Information Campaigns," IZA Discussion Papers 10420, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Carlana, Michela, 2018. "Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers' Gender Bias," IZA Discussion Papers 11659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2014. "A Test of Racial Bias in Capital Sentencing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(11), pages 3397-3433, November.
    5. Eric P. Bettinger, 2012. "Paying to Learn: The Effect of Financial Incentives on Elementary School Test Scores," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 686-698, August.
    6. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3143-3259 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "Test Scores, Subjective Assessment, and Stereotyping of Ethnic Minorities," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 535-576.
    8. Fernando Botelho & Ricardo Madeira, Marcos A. Rangel, 2015. "Racial Discrimination in Grading: Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2015_04, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    9. Fernando Botelho & Ricardo A. Madeira & Marcos A. Rangel, 2015. "Racial Discrimination in Grading: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 37-52, October.
    10. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    11. Decio Coviello & Nicola Persico, 2015. "An Economic Analysis of Black-White Disparities in the New York Police Department's Stop-and-Frisk Program," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 315-360.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30752840 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Armando Miano & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2018. "Immigration and Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 24733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:2:p:201-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Barbieri, Gianna & Rossetti, Claudio & Sestito, Paolo, 2011. "The determinants of teacher mobility: Evidence using Italian teachers’ transfer applications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1430-1444.
    17. Alesina, Alberto F & Miano, Armando & Stantcheva, Stefanie, 2018. "Immigration and Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 13035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2019-01-21 17:11:12

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; teachers; implicit stereotypes; IAT; bias in grading;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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