Measuring Discrimination in Education
In this paper, a methodology to measure discrimination in educational contexts is illustrated. In India, exam competition is run through which children compete for a large financial prize and teachers have been recruited to grade the exams.Then there is a random assignment of child â€œcharacteristicsâ€ (age, gender, and caste) to the cover sheets of the exams to ensure that there is no systematic relationship between the characteristics observed by the teachers and the quality of the exams. It has been found out that teachers give exams that are assigned to be lower caste scores that are about 0.03 to 0.09 standard deviations lower than exams that are assigned to be high caste. The effect is small relative to the real differences in scores between the high and lower caste children. Low-performing, low caste children and top-performing females tend to lose out the most due to discrimination. Interestingly, findings also suggest that the discrimination against low caste students is driven by low caste teachers, while teachers who belong to higher caste groups do not appear to discriminate at all. This result runs counter to the previous literature, which tends to find that individuals discriminate in favor of members of their own groups.[Working Paper no. 230]
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