Working paper

Reducing Discrimination through Norms or Information: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Student Evaluations of Teaching

Anne Boring, and Arnaud Philippe


We conduct a field experiment to assess the impact of two different interventions designed to reduce gender biases in student evaluations of teaching (SET). In the first intervention, students received a normative statement by email, essentially reminding them that they should not discriminate in SETs. In the second intervention, the normative statement was augmented with precise information on how other students in the exact same situation had discriminated against female teachers in the past. While the pure normative statement had no significant impact on SETs, the informative statement appears to have reduced gender biases against female teachers. This effect mainly comes from a change in male students’ evaluation of female teachers.

JEL codes

  • C93: Field Experiments
  • I23: Higher Education • Research Institutions
  • J71: Discrimination

See also

Published in

IAST working paper, n. 17-72, November 2017