Gender, ethnicity and teaching evaluations : Evidence from mixed teaching teams

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Wagner, Natascha ; Rieger, Matthias ; Voorvelt, Katherine (2016)
  • Publisher: International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: education

textabstractThis paper studies the effect of teacher gender and ethnicity on student evaluations of teaching quality at university. We analyze a unique data-set featuring mixed teaching teams and a diverse, multicultural, multi-ethnic group of students and teachers. Co-teaching allows us to study the impact of teacher gender and ethnicity on students’ evaluations of teaching exploiting within course variation in an empirical model with course-year fixed effects. We document a negative effect of being a female teacher on student evaluations of teaching, which amounts to roughly one fourth of the sample standard deviation of teaching scores. Overall women are 11 percentage points less likely to attain the teaching evaluation cut-off for promotion to associate professor. The effect is robust to a host of co-variates such as course leadership, teacher experience and research quality. There is no evidence of a corresponding ethnicity effect. Our results point to an important gender bias and indicate that the use of teaching evaluations in hiring and promotion decisions may put female lectures at a disadvantage.
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