The Impact of Same-Race Teachers on Student Non-Test Academic Outcomes (Job Market Paper, CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 695)

This paper shows that the positive effects of same-race teachers extend beyond the test scores to non-test academic outcomes, which are important predictors of student success in later life. To identify the causal effects of same-race teachers, I exploit the random assignment of teachers to classes within the U.S. public schools participating in the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. The results show that Black students taught by same-race teachers have more effective communication than their unmatched Black schoolmates. Better student understanding of a same-race teacher’s explanations due to shared cultural background is one of the possible explanations behind the effect. The effect is robust to the inclusion of different measures of teacher effectiveness and teacher communication ability. These findings add to the empirical literature on the impacts of same-identity teachers on student non-test academic outcomes and a broader strand of literature on teacher effects and match effects by highlighting the importance of matching minority students with a same-race teacher.

Student Preferences for Rank and University Choice

We analyze how student prospective ordinal rank influences university choice by using data on six cohorts of university applicants in Ukraine. Previous papers show that students with higher ranks in high school are more likely to enter university and complete high school (Elsner and Isphording, 2017) and are more likely to choose STEM-related majors (Delaney and Devereux, 2020). In comparison to previous studies, we examine the impact of student prospective ordinal rank among potential peers, which allows exploring whether students exhibit ordinal rank inequality aversion and, if yes, how does it affect the sorting of students across different universities. To evaluate the impact of student preferences for rank, we use the propensity score matching method and compare the university choice of students with the same test scores but different ranks within the fields of study. This paper adds to the previous studies on the impact of student rank on university choice by testing whether students will opt for less preferred universities if they have a higher prospective ordinal rank. We also study whether there are gender differences in ordinal rank inequality aversion, which may explain the gender differences in university choice.

The Impact of Classroom Rank on the Student Performance and Long-Term Outcomes

This paper examines the impact of classroom student ordinal rank on student performance and long-term outcomes using the variation induced by random assignment of students to classes within schools from the STAR project. Preliminary results suggest that student classroom rank in the kindergarten improves student performance in the next grades of the primary school. Furthermore, I find that the effect of student classroom rank does not fade out and increase over grades, which aligns with the findings of the previous studies (Salvati et al., 2021). The effect of classroom rank is larger for boys than for girls both in Math and English classes. The results are robust to the inclusion of student peer performance. This paper adds to the literature about student ordinal rank (Murphy and Weinhardt, 2020; Salvati et al., 2021; Elsner and Isphording, 2017) and peer effects (Sacerdote, 2001; Carrell et al., 2009; Lavy et al., 2012) by providing evidence on student ordinal rank on student performance and long-term outcomes in the setting of random student assignment.