A Professor Like Me: The Influence of Instructor Gender on College Achievement
Many wonder whether teacher gender plays an important role in higher education by influencing student achievement and subject interest. The data used in this paper help identify average effects from male and female college students assigned to male or female teachers. We find instructor gender plays only a minor role in determining college student achievement. Nevertheless, the small effects provide evidence that gender role models matter to some college students. A same-sex instructor increases average grade performance by at most 5 percent of its standard deviation and decreases the likelihood of dropping a class by 1.2 percentage points.