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Room 3-B3-SR01, Rontgen


It is widely believed that female students benefit from being taught by female teachers, particularly in situations in which female teachers serve as counter-stereotypical role models. We study education in rural areas of the US circa 1940—a context in there were few professional female exemplars other than teachers—and find that female students were more successful when their primary-school teachers were disproportionately female. Impacts are lifelong: female students taught by female teachers were more likely to move up the educational ladder—more likely to complete high school and attend college—and had higher lifetime family income and increased longevity.


Seth G. Sanders is the Ronald Ehrenberg Professor of Economics at Cornell University. Prior to joining the faculty at Cornell, he was Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Duke University and Director of the Duke Population Research Institute.

His scholarly work has covered a range of topics in labor economics and economic demography including aging and cognition, race and gender gaps in earnings among the highly educated, the effects of extreme economic changes on workers and families, the performance of gay and lesbian families in the economy, and the economic consequences of teenage childbearing. He was the research director of the first census research data center at Carnegie Mellon University and has worked with restricted use census data throughout his career.