2015-09-24 Daug Campbell research

NBER working paper

The recent NBER working paper "TAs Like Me: Racial Interactions between Graduate Teaching Assistants and Undergraduates", by Lester Lusher and Scott Carrell of UC Davis, and Doug Campbell of the New Economic School, has recently drawn media attention. Articles in Slate, and Inside Higher-Ed recently highlighted the findings. The study found that undergraduate students in a California university get better grades when they have TAs of the same race. The results were strongest in classes in which TAs had been given advanced copies of the exams, and also in classes which did not have multiple choice exams. The authors also found that students were more likely to visit discussion sections and office hours of TAs of the same race. Students of the same race as their TAs were therefore likely the beneficiaries of "teaching to the test" and subjective grading.

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