Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1362: The Genius is a Male: Stereotypes and Same-Sex Bias in Exam Grading in Economics at Stockholm University

Joakim Jansson () and Björn Tyrefors ()
Additional contact information
Joakim Jansson: Linnaeus University, Postal: and Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Björn Tyrefors: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We use the random allocation of graders to different exam questions at Stockholm University to evaluate the existence of same-sex bias in exam correction. We find evidence of same-sex bias before anonymous exams were introduced. Notably, once anonymous grading was in place, the effect disappears. When separating the effects by grader´s sex, both groups of graders favor male students, although male graders favor male students to a larger extent than female graders. Again, after anonymous grading was introduced, the effect disappears. There is no evidence of compositional changes across the pre-and post-anonymous grading regimes. In sum, our finding is consistent with theories of stereotyping, e.g., the genius being male.

Keywords: Grading bias; University; Discrimination; Education; Anonymous grading; Same-sex bias

JEL-codes: I23; J16

17 pages, October 6, 2020

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