Maria Zhu from Syracuse University will present "Model Minorities in the Classroom? Positive Bias Towards Asian Students and its Consequences".
The fast-growing demographic group of Asian Americans is often perceived as a " model minority.” Using the context of education, this paper first establishes empirical evidence of this stereotype and then analyzes its consequences. We show that teachers rate Asian students’ academic mastery more favorably than observationally similar white students. This positive bias contrasts with teachers’ lower likelihood of favoring Black and Hispanic students, even after accounting for academic performance and behavior. Notably, the presence of any Asian student in the classroom exacerbates existing Black-white and Hispanic-white assessment gaps. This suggests that the “model minority” stereotype can have negative spillover effects on other minority groups, in spite of its ostensibly positive valence.