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Stereotype Threat and the Student-Athlete

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  • Thomas S. Dee

Abstract

Achievement gaps may reflect the cognitive impairment thought to occur in evaluative settings (e.g., classrooms) where a stereotyped identity is salient (i.e., stereotype threat). This study presents an economic model of stereotype threat that reconciles prior evidence on how student effort and performance are influenced by this social-identity phenomenon. This study also presents empirical evidence from a laboratory experiment in which students at a selective college were randomly assigned to a treatment that primed their awareness of a stereotyped identity (i.e., student-athlete). This treatment reduced the test-score performance of athletes relative to non-athletes by 14 percent (effect size = -1.0).

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas S. Dee, 2009. "Stereotype Threat and the Student-Athlete," NBER Working Papers 14705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14705
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 200935, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Hanming Fang & Glenn C. Loury, 2005. ""Dysfunctional Identities" Can Be Rational," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 104-111, May.
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    4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    5. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, June.
    6. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2008. "Exploring the Impact of Financial Incentives on Stereotype Threat: Evidence from a Pilot Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 370-375, May.
    7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
    8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    9. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2010. "Social Identity and Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1913-1928, September.
    10. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2011. "Social interactions and the salience of social identity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 172-178, February.
    11. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "Viewpoint: On the generalizability of lab behaviour to the field," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 347-370, May.
    12. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Malcolm Getz & John Siegfried, 2010. "What Does Intercollegiate Athletics Do To or For Colleges and Universities?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1005, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    2. Nina Guyon & Elise Huillery, 2016. "Biased Aspirations and Social Inequality at School: Evidence from French Teenagers," Sciences Po publications 44, Sciences Po.
    3. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:313-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Afridi, Farzana & Li, Sherry Xin & Ren, Yufei, 2015. "Social identity and inequality: The impact of China's hukou system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 17-29.
    5. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Alain Cohn & Michel André Maréchal, 2016. "Priming in economics," ECON - Working Papers 226, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    8. repec:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Carlana, Michela, 2018. "Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers' Gender Bias," IZA Discussion Papers 11659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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