Back to Top

Mitigating Implicit Bias in Student Evaluations: A Randomized Intervention

AAEA members release new research in AEPP

The pandemic has exacerbated gender differences in labor force participation, promotion opportunities, and wage gaps. This is certainly true for academia, where it's widely documented that the careers of women and minorities have suffered the most from the pandemic (see the New York Times article here).

In the new article “Mitigating Implicit Bias in Student Evaluations: A Randomized Intervention” published in the Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy, Joyce Chen, Brandon Genetin, Vladimir Kogan, and Alan Kalish from The Ohio State University assess the efficacy of utilizing modified introductory language on reducing the bias gap in student evaluations of instructions for women and minorities. 

Genetin says, “We found several interesting results. First, our data suggests that the treatments have a statistically significant effect on the likelihood of a response. Specifically, treatments tended to discourage racial/ethnic minority students from completing evaluations of instruction for minority instructors, with the opposite effect on female students. For example, the combined treatment discussing both implicit bias and high stakes tended to reduce response rates among students of color while the same treatment saw minority instructors have higher response rates from female students. Second, when analyzing the impact of treatments on average instructor ratings, we find few significant results. Although we find the high stakes treatment leads to higher average scores for racial/ethnic minority instructors, we find no significant effects from the implicit bias and combined scripts. However, we attribute the lack of results to both changes in response rates induced by the scripts as well as the low variability in average scores. We believe further research on the tails of the distributions would produce more significant results.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190