HKS Authors

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We exploit a policy designed to randomly allocate roommates in a large South African university to investigate whether interracial interaction affects stereotypes, attitudes and performance. Using implicit association tests, we find that living with a roommate of a different race reduces White students' negative stereotypes towards Black students and increases interracial friendships. Interaction also affects academic outcomes: Black students improve their GPA, pass more exams and have lower dropout rates. This effect is not driven by roommate's ability.


Corno, Lucia, Eliana La Ferrara, and Justine Burns. "Interaction, Stereotypes, and Performance: Evidence from South Africa." American Economic Review 112.12 (December 2022): 3848-3875.