Do Teachers' Race, Gender, and Ethnicity Matter?: Evidence from NELS88

Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Daniel D. Goldhaber, Dominic J. Brewer

NBER Working Paper No. 4669 (Also Reprint No. r1968)
Issued in March 1994
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

Our study uses a unique national longitudinal survey, the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS), which permits researchers to match individual students and teachers, to analyze issues relating to how a teacher's race, gender, and ethnicity, per se, influence students from both the same and different race, gender, and ethnic groups. In contrast to much of the previous literature, we focus both on how teachers subjectively relate to and evaluate their students and on objectively how much their students learn. On balance, we find that teachers' race, gender, and ethnicity, per se, are much more likely to influence teachers' subjective evaluations of their students than they are to influence how much the students objectively learn. For example, while white female teachers do not appear to be associated with larger increases in test scores for white female students in mathematics and science than white male teachers 'produce', white female teachers do have higher subjective evaluations than their white male counterparts of their white female students. We relate our findings to the more general literature on gender, race, and ethnic bias in subjective performance evaluations in the world of work and trace their implications for educational and labor markets.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4669

Published: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 48 (April 1995): 547-561.

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