IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/11195.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap

Author

Listed:
  • David N. Figlio

Abstract

This paper investigates the question of whether teachers treat children differentially on the basis of factors other than observed ability, and whether this differential treatment in turn translates into differences in student outcomes. I suggest that teachers may use a child's name as a signal of unobserved parental contributions to that child's education, and expect less from children with names that "sound" like they were given by uneducated parents. These names, empirically, are given most frequently by Blacks, but they are also given by White and Hispanic parents as well. I utilize a detailed dataset from a large Florida school district to directly test the hypothesis that teachers and school administrators expect less on average of children with names associated with low socio-economic status, and these diminished expectations in turn lead to reduced student cognitive performance. Comparing pairs of siblings, I find that teachers tend to treat children differently depending on their names, and that these same patterns apparently translate into large differences in test scores.

Suggested Citation

  • David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11195
    Note: CH ED
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11195.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805.
    2. Betts, Julian R. & Grogger, Jeff, 2003. "The impact of grading standards on student achievement, educational attainment, and entry-level earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 343-352, August.
    3. Figlio, David N. & Lucas, Maurice E., 2004. "Do high grading standards affect student performance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1815-1834, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Lillard, Dean R. & DeCicca, Philip P., 2001. "Higher standards, more dropouts? Evidence within and across time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 459-473, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "Detection Of Local Interactions From The Spatial Pattern Of Names In France," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 67-95, February.
    2. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2010. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 226-238, March.
    3. Cook, Lisa D. & Logan, Trevon D. & Parman, John M., 2014. "Distinctively black names in the American past," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 64-82.
    4. Maresa Sprietsma, 2013. "Discrimination in grading: experimental evidence from primary school teachers," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 523-538, August.
    5. Agrawal, Ajay & Lacetera, Nicola & Lyons, Elizabeth, 2016. "Does standardized information in online markets disproportionately benefit job applicants from less developed countries?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-12.
    6. Price, Gregory N., 2009. "Obesity and crime: Is there a relationship?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 149-152, June.
    7. Liu, Liqun & Rettenmaier, Andrew J. & Saving, Thomas R., 2015. "Voluntary disclosure of a discriminated against characteristic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 94-103.
    8. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2010. "Ugly Criminals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 15-30, February.
    9. Cook, Lisa D. & Logan, Trevon D. & Parman, John M., 2016. "The mortality consequences of distinctively black names," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 114-125.
    10. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Gregory N. Price, 2006. "Crime and Punishment: And Skin Hue Too?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 246-250, May.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. van Ewijk, Reyn, 2011. "Same work, lower grade? Student ethnicity and teachers' subjective assessments," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1045-1058, October.
    2. Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2013. "Still Not Allowed on the Bus: It Matters If You're Black or White!," IZA Discussion Papers 7300, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "Detection Of Local Interactions From The Spatial Pattern Of Names In France," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 67-95, February.
    4. Jan Hanousek & Štěpán Jurajda, 2018. "Názvy společností a jejich vliv na výkonnost firem [Corporate Names and Performance]," Politická ekonomie, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2018(6), pages 671-688.
    5. Button, Patrick & Walker, Brigham, 2020. "Employment discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    6. Lisa Cook, 2014. "Violence and economic activity: evidence from African American patents, 1870–1940," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 221-257, June.
    7. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Loviglio, Annalisa, 2019. "Grading on a curve: When having good peers is not good," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    8. Olivetti, Claudia & Paserman, M. Daniele & Salisbury, Laura, 2018. "Three-generation mobility in the United States, 1850–1940: The role of maternal and paternal grandparents," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 73-90.
    9. Nicodemo, Catia & Raya, Josep M., 2018. "Does Juan Carlos or Nelson Obtain a Larger Price Cut in the Spanish Housing Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 11811, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2008. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 459-477, August.
    11. Maia Güell & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Christopher I. Telmer, 2014. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Informational Content of Surnames," Working Papers 2014-01, FEDEA.
    12. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2006. "Giving up Foreign Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings," Research Papers in Economics 2006:13, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    13. Siddique, Abu & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Zenou, Yves, 2020. "Market Competition and Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 13269, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Maia Güell & José V. Rodriguez Mora & Chris Telmer, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and the informative content of surnames," Economics Working Papers 1042, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    15. Saku Aura & Gregory D. Hess, 2010. "What’S In A Name?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 214-227, January.
    16. Jurajda, Stepán & Münich, Daniel, 2010. "Admission to selective schools, alphabetically," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1100-1109, December.
    17. Cook, Lisa D. & Logan, Trevon D. & Parman, John M., 2016. "The mortality consequences of distinctively black names," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 114-125.
    18. Ozkan Eren & Daniel J. Henderson, 2008. "The impact of homework on student achievement," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 11(2), pages 326-348, July.
    19. Bertrand, Marianne & Duflo, Esther, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," CEPR Discussion Papers 11123, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Kline, Patrick & Walters, Christopher, 2019. "Audits as Evidence: Experiments, Ensembles, and Enforcement," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt3z72m9kn, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11195. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.