Friday, May 20, 2011
(Cornell University, Department of Economics) & Asaf Zussman
(Hebrew University, Department of Economics) have posted their forthcoming article in Applied Economics
, Partisan Grading
. Here is the abstract:
We study grading outcomes associated with professors in an elite university in the United States who were identified -- using voter registration records from the county where the university is located -- as either Republicans or Democrats. The evidence suggests that student grades are linked to the political orientation of professors: relative to their Democratic colleagues, Republican professors are associated with a less egalitarian distribution of grades and with lower grades awarded to Black students relative to Whites.
Press and blogosphere commentary:
- Wall Street Journal, Republican and Democratic Professors Grade Differently: "The study looked at the grades of roughly 17,100 students, in 3,300 courses, from 417 Democratic or Republican professors, in the university’s arts and sciences division, from 2000 to 2004. Unsurprisingly, more than 90% of the teachers were Democrats. ... The distribution of academic talent was the same across “Republican” and “Democratic” classrooms, judging from SAT scores. But the Republicans gave grades of C-minus or worse 6.2% of the time, compared with 4% for Democrats. And Republicans awarded the gold star of A-plus 8% of the time, compared with only 3.5% for Democrats. ... On average, Republican professors gave black students grades that were .2 of a grade point lower than their Democratic colleagues, or about two-thirds of the distance between a B and a B-minus."
- Carpe Diem, Partisan Grading: Democratic Professors Are More Likely to Redistribute Grades Than Republicans: "One conclusion here might be that highly motivated, high-achieving students should prefer classes from Republican professors because it's more likely they'll be rewarded with a really high grade (A or A+), and less motivated, lower-achieving students should prefer classes from Democratic professors, because it's less likely that they'll receive a really low grade."
- Inside Higher Ed, Red Grader, Blue Grader: "Democratic professors appear to be "more egalitarian" than their Republican counterparts when it comes to grading, meaning that more of the Democratic grades are in the middle. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to award very high grades and very low grades."