The extent of gender bias in primary school curricula and its impacts on child outcomes: evidence from New York City public schools
Alex Eble

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Teachers College, Columbia University

Primary Discipline

As a child goes through life, her beliefs are shaped by what she comes in contact with. This affects what she sees as her strengths and weaknesses, and what paths she thinks hold more or less promise for her future. A large body of research shows that bias ââ?¬â?? the notion that one group defined, for example, by gender, ethnicity, or sexuality, is inferior to another on some dimension ââ?¬â?? harms children through affecting their beliefs about themselves as well as their effort in school and hobbies. Because learning builds on itself, small differences in enthusiasm or effort induced by bias can compound over time and have large negative consequences later in life. In this project, I will further our understanding of the transmission of gender bias via the early sources of information a child comes in contact with. First, I will use a novel method to to quantify the extent of gender bias the child encounters early in life. Then, using modern causal inference techniques and a large administrative data set, I will estimate how increased exposure to such bias affects her performance in school and beyond.
About Alex Eble
Alex Eble is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research focuses on two core areas. In the first research area, he works to understand how children form beliefs about their own ability, and how this affects their human capital development. In this work, he pairs theoretical models of the formation of beliefs with causal empirical analysis to show how early exposure to erroneous messages such as gender bias can reduce human capital investment and harm individuals? later life outcomes. In the second research area, he works to identify, evaluate, and study the scalability of potentially high-leverage policy options to raise learning levels in the developing world. This work draws on insights from fieldwork and experience as a development practitioner in China, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and India. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics; and a BA in economics and East Asian languages and cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, where he learned to read, write, and speak Mandarin Chinese.

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