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Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, INC.
Doing Business As Name:National Bureau of Economic Research Inc
PD/PI:
  • Frank N Schilbach
  • (617) 233-0906
  • fschilb@mit.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Hannah K Ruebeck
Award Date:07/24/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 24,984
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 24,984
  • FY 2021=$24,984
Start Date:08/15/2021
End Date:07/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 R&RA ARP Act DEFC V
Award Title or Description:Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: The Effects of Gender and Racial Stereotypes on Math Confidence, Effort, and Achievement
Federal Award ID Number:2117083
DUNS ID:054552435
Parent DUNS ID:054552435
Program:Economics
Program Officer:
  • Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong
  • (703) 292-7466
  • kgyimahb@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:1050 Massachusetts Avenue
City:Cambridge
State:MA
ZIP:02138-5398
County:Cambridge
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:National Bureau of Economic Research Inc
Street:1050 Massachusetts Avenue
City:Cambridge
State:MA
ZIP:02138-5398
County:Cambridge
Country:US
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2). There are large, persistent gender and race gaps in STEM participation and achievement, as well as persistent academic stereotypes about race and gender. This project seeks to understand the effects of providing information to elementary and middle school students to counteract the negative stereotypes and social norms surrounding the participation and achievement of under-represented groups in STEM – particularly the effects of this information on students’ confidence, STEM engagement, and achievement. While research show that stereotypes about ability matter for adults’ confidence and participation in STEM, these stereotypes emerge at much younger ages. This study will evaluate the impacts of intervening against these negative stereotypes early in students’ educational trajectory, which may be more effective and more long-lasting than intervening with adults. In addition to increasing diversity in STEM and encouraging more equal opportunities for all students, closing the gender and race gaps in STEM engagement is expected to improve productivity and innovation in the sector and reduce wage gaps, since more than 90 percent of STEM occupations offer wages above the national average. Closing gaps in STEM participation is thus a top priority for the US government as well as business leaders and professional organizations in STEM fields. The results of this research could guide policies to close the racial and gender STEM gaps and thus increase the supply of STEM workforce. This will increase economic growth, decrease poverty as well as decrease income inequality in the US. This study will provide the first experimental evidence on the role of stereotypes in creating gaps in STEM achievement. It will also provide novel evidence on the mechanisms through which stereotypes cause these effects; specifically, the effects of stereotypes on confidence, engagement with and responsiveness to feedback, and effort. This research uses a randomized intervention – a series of videos and exercises that provide information to counteract prevailing negative academic stereotypes – delivered to students on a leading online learning platform to study these issues. Student behavior on the platform will provide high-frequency measures of student effort, learning strategies, and engagement with feedback. Additional outcomes will be measured in a survey, also integrated into the platform, which will provide psychometric and revealed-preference measures of math interest, confidence, and endorsement of stereotypes. Finally, student achievement will be measured using standardized test scores. Differences in outcomes between treated and control students will deliver the effect of the intervention, and the large set of considered outcomes will be used to test various mechanisms that explain the effect of race and gender stereotypes on math achievement. The results of this research could guide policies to close the racial and gender STEM gaps and thus increase the supply of STEM workforce. This will increase economic growth, decrease poverty as well as decrease income inequality in the US. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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