New Study by Economist Tom Dee '90
Explores "Stereotype Threat" Among College Athletes
by Stacey Kutish
A new study by Associate Professor of Economics Tom Dee '90 explores a phenomenon known as "stereotype threat" among athletes. In the study, discussed in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, Dee writes that this trend "refers to the perceived risk of confirming, through one's behavior or outcomes, negative stereotypes that are held about one's social identity." Dee argues that the "stigma" attached to athletic participation at some selective institutions might trigger the "stereotype threat" response among athletes, accounting for some portion of their weaker academic performance.
Dee employs economic principles to study a wide range of education and other social issues, including: teachers, race, and student achievement; civic returns in education; charter schools; Catholic schooling and civic involvement; the fatal effects of speed limits on women and the elderly; and the relationship between gay marriage laws and the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections. Dee joined Swarthmore's faculty in 1999 and is also a faculty research fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass.