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The Effect of Teacher Gender on Student Achievement in Primary School: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Antecol, Heather

    () (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Eren, Ozkan

    () (Louisiana State University)

  • Ozbeklik, Serkan

    () (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

This paper attempts to reconcile the contradictory results found in the economics literature and the educational psychology literature with respect to the academic impact of gender dynamics in the classroom. Specifically, using data from a randomized experiment, we look at the effects of having a female teacher on the math test scores of students in primary school. We find that female students who were assigned to a female teacher without a strong math background suffered from lower math test scores at the end of the academic year. This negative effect however not only seems to disappear but it becomes (marginally) positive for female students who were assigned to a female teacher with a strong math background. Finally, we do not find any effect of having a female teacher on male students' test scores (math or reading) or female students' reading test scores. Taken together, our results tentatively suggest that the findings in these two streams of the literature are in fact consistent if one takes into account a teacher's academic background in math.

Suggested Citation

  • Antecol, Heather & Eren, Ozkan & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2012. "The Effect of Teacher Gender on Student Achievement in Primary School: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6453, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6453
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214.
    2. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    3. Thomas J. Kane & Eric S. Taylor & John H. Tyler & Amy L. Wooten, 2010. "Identifying Effective Classroom Practices Using Student Achievement Data," NBER Working Papers 15803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Paul T. Decker & Daniel P. Mayer & Steven Glazerman, "undated". "The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c8b5eb6d499c465c86a96bee4, Mathematica Policy Research.
    5. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 158-165, May.
    6. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    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 A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-271, May.
    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, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
    10. Thomas J. Kane & Eric S. Taylor & John H. Tyler & Amy L. Wooten, 2011. "Identifying Effective Classroom Practices Using Student Achievement Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 587-613.
    11. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    random assignment; teacher gender; student achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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