The Black-White Gap in Non-Cognitive Skills among Elementary School Children
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
Using two nationally representative datasets, we find large differences between black and white children in teacher-reported measures of non-cognitive skills. We show that teacher reports understate true black-white skill gaps because of reference bias: teachers appear to rate children relative to others in the same school, and black students have lower-skilled classmates, on average, than do white students. We pursue three approaches to addressing these reference biases. Each approach nearly doubles the estimated black-white gaps in non-cognitive skills, to roughly 0.9 standard deviations in third grade.
Forthcoming Article Downloads