Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2007:25: Gender and ethnic interactions among teachers and students – evidence from Sweden

Erica Lindahl ()
Additional contact information
Erica Lindahl: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This study investigates the importance of gender and ethnic interactions among teachers and students for school performance in Swedish, English and Mathematics. School leaving certificates assigned by the teacher is compared with results on comprehensive national tests. The analysis is based on data on grade 9 students (age 16) from Sweden. I find that a student is likely to obtain better test scores in Mathematics, when the share of teachers of the same gender as the student increases. Correspondingly, ethnic minority students, on average, obtain better test scores in Mathematics, when the share of ethnic minority teachers increases. The positive same-gender effect on test scores is counteracted by a negative assessment effect. That is, conditional on test scores, same-gender teachers are less generous than opposite-gender teachers when assessing students’ performance. In Swedish and English no statistically significant effects are found.

Keywords: School achievements; student and teacher interactions; gender; race

JEL-codes: I21

27 pages, October 16, 2007

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