Discrimination in Grading: Evidence from Immigrants in Ecuador

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Aug 2023
This article investigates whether discrimination taking the form of biased assessment of students by teachers is prevalent within Ecuadorian schools serving immigrants. Robust evidence is drawn from unique data pertaining to high-school students and educators. After holding constant performance in blindly scored tests of proficiency, we find that teacher-assigned Mathematics and Language grades suffer from well cardinal and ordinal grading biases against children from immigrant households. We show that these results are robust with respect to the omission of socio-emotional traits that are valued by teachers. Heterogeneity analyses indicate key differences by the gender of the students and perceptions of teacher engagement.