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Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools
Last registered on December 10, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003647
Initial registration date
December 05, 2018
Last updated
December 10, 2018 2:09 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard Kennedy School
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Bocconi University
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
Bocconi University
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-09-01
End date
2017-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
If individuals become aware of their stereotypes, do they change their behavior? We study this question in the context of teachers’ bias in grading immigrants and native children in middle schools. Teachers give lower grades to immigrant students compared to natives who have the same performance on standardized, blindly-graded tests. We then relate differences in grading to teachers’ stereotypes, elicited through an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We find that math teachers with stronger stereotypes give lower grades to immigrants compared to natives with the same performance. Literature teachers do not differentially grade immigrants based on their own stereotypes. Finally, we share teachers’ own IAT score with them, randomizing the timing of disclosure around the date on which they assign term grades. All teachers informed of their stereotypes before term grading increase grades assigned to immigrants. Revealing stereotypes may be a powerful intervention to decrease discrimination, but it may also induce a reaction from individuals who were not acting in a biased way.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Alesina, Alberto et al. 2018. "Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools." AEA RCT Registry. December 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3647-1.0.
Former Citation
Alesina, Alberto et al. 2018. "Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools." AEA RCT Registry. December 10. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3647/history/38664.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention consists in administering a survey to middle school teachers, including an Implicit Association Test to capture the implicit stereotypes against immigrants. The survey is conducted by enumerators using tablets during meetings held in school buildings with all math and literature teachers of each school. Enumerators give each teacher one tablet to complete the survey independently and are available in the room to answer questions or help with the tablet if requested. Teachers who agree to take part in the survey give written informed consent. The time to complete the survey is around 30 minutes, and participants do not receive any compensation.

We offer the possibility of receiving feedback on the IAT score to all teachers in our sample. We share teachers’ own IAT score with them, randomizing the timing of disclosure around the date on which they assign term grades.

The feedback was provided over e-mail. Each teacher received his/her IAT score and a brief description of the test explaining whether in their case the association between immigrant names and good/bad adjectives was “slight”, “moderate” or “strong”based on the thresholds typically used in the literature (Greenwald et al., 2009). They were also reassured that these results would not be shared with anyone.
Intervention Start Date
2017-01-22
Intervention End Date
2017-02-16
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Teacher-assigned grade in January 2017
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The timing of feedback was randomized across schools. Teachers in half of the schools (the treated group) received the feedback before the
end-of-semester grading, which took place at the end of January 2017. Teachers in the remaining schools (the control group) received the feedback within two weeks. We chose to randomize at the school level rather than at the teacher level in order to avoid contamination between teachers who received the early feedback and those who received the feedback after term grading. The teachers are not aware that we can observe the grades they gave to their students. We obtain this information directly from the National Evaluation Center, substantially reducing the risk of experimenter demand effects in teachers’ grading.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomisation is the school
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
65 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
6,000 pupils
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
3,000 pupils
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Bocconi University
IRB Approval Date
2016-09-14
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
March 31, 2017, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
March 31, 2017, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
65 schools
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
6031 pupils
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
2756 in the control group, 3275 in the treatment group
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No

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Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
Alesina, Alberto, Michela Carlana, Eliana La Ferrara, and Paolo Pinotti. "Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools." NBER WP 25333, December 2018.
Citation
Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools