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The effects of role models on college graduation rates

James Koch () and Ziniya Zahedi ()
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Ziniya Zahedi: Old Dominion University

Journal of Economics and Finance, 2019, vol. 43, issue 3, No 10, 607-617

Abstract: Abstract Many believe that the presence of role models positively influences the behavior and success of students. We test one aspect of this contention by focusing upon the impact that Black, Asian, Hispanic, White and women role models have upon graduation rates at 176 four-year, public colleges. We find only limited evidence in favor of role model hypotheses as they relate to individual institutional graduation rates. A 1% increase in full-time Black faculty on a campus is associated with a .59% increase in the graduation rate of Black students on that campus, but we do not find strong results for any other student group. This suggests that we should be less sweeping and more evidence-based in our approaches to questions involving campus diversity.

Keywords: Graduation rates; Role model hypotheses; Influence of role models on success; Universities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s12197-018-9450-1

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