Scott Delhommer

Economics PhD Candidate

University of Texas Austin | sdelhommer@utexas.edu

I am an Economics PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin with fields in Labor and Public Economics, specializing in higher education and LGBT issues. I am on the job market in 2020. My research focuses on inequalities in education, labor, and health for racial and sexual minorities. While at the University of Texas, I worked as a research assistant with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, co-authoring RAND and AIR reports.

High School Role Models and Minority College Achievement

Large racial differences persist in college enrollment and major choice, which may be exacerbated by the racial distribution of high school teachers. I present the first evidence of the effect of high school students matching with same-race teachers on college outcomes. I also extend the literature on long-run effects of race-matching by presenting the first evidence on Hispanic and Asian students. To address endogenous sorting of students and teachers, I use detailed Texas administrative data on classroom assignment, exploiting variation in student and teacher race within the same course, year, and school, eliminating 99% of observed same-race sorting. Race-matching raises minority students' course performance as well as improves longer-term outcomes like high school graduation and college enrollment. Black and Hispanic students matching with a same-race teacher in a given subject also become more likely to major in that subject in college. Finally, I do not find any robust, significant effects of race-matching for White students, suggesting policies to make the teaching population more representative would likely benefit minority students with minimal negative trade-offs impacting the White student population.