Eliana La Ferrara (Bocconi University)

"Revealing stereotypes: Evidence from grading in schools"

18 September 2018, 12:00 pm

ABSTRACT

If individuals become aware of their own stereotypes, do they change their behavior? We study this question in the context of teachers' bias in grading against immigrants. We first show that teachers give lower grades to immigrant students compared to natives with the same performance in standardized, blindly-graded tests. We then relate differences in grading to teachers' stereotypes, elicited through an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We find that teachers with stronger racial stereotypes give lower grades to immigrants compared to natives with the same standardized test scores. Finally, we disclose IAT scores to teachers in a randomized fashion. Teachers informed about their own stereotypes before term grading reduce the gap in grading between immigrant and native students.