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Akin to my teacher: Does caste, religious or gender distance between student and teacher matter? Some evidence from India

  • Shenila Rawal

    ()

    (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.)

  • Geeta Kingdon

    ()

    (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.)

This paper uses a unique data set from 5028 primary school children in rural India to examine whether the demographic interactions between students and teachers influence student outcomes and whether social distance between student and teacher exacerbates gender, caste and religious gaps in children's achievement. One would expect this to be the case if discrimination and/or role model effects persist in the classroom. School and individual fixed effects methodology are used. In the pupil fixed effects model, across subject variation is used to test whether having a teacher whose gender, caste and religion are the same as that of the student improves student test scores. We find statistically significant positive effects of matching student and teacher characteristics. We find that a student's achievement in a subject in which the teacher shares the same gender, caste and religion as the child is, on average, nearly a quarter of a SD higher than the same child's achievement in a subject taught by a teacher who does not share the child's gender, caste or religion. Policy implications are considered.

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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 10-18.

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Date of creation: 21 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1018
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
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  1. Jean Drèze & Mamta Murthi, 2001. "Fertility, Education, and Development: Evidence from India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 33-63.
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