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The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Post-secondary Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health

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  • Robert Bifulco
  • Jason M. Fletcher
  • Stephen L. Ross

Abstract

This paper uses a within-school/across-cohort design to present new evidence of the effects of high school classmate characteristics on a wide range of post-secondary outcomes. We find that increases in the percent of classmates with college-educated mothers decreases the likelihood of dropping out and increases the likelihood of attending college, despite showing no impact on a range of in-school achievement, attitudes, and behaviors. The percent of students from disadvantaged minority groups does not show any effects on post-secondary outcomes, but is associated with students reporting less caring student-teacher relationships and increased prevalence of some undesirable student behaviors during high school. (JEL I21, J13, J15)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 25-53

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:25-53

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.1.25
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References

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  1. Steven G. Rivkin, 2000. "School Desegregation, Academic Attainment, and Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 333-346.
  2. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross, 2006. "Identifying Individual and Group Effects in the Presence of Sorting: A Neighborhood Effects Application," NBER Working Papers 12211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Scott E. Carrell & Mark L. Hoekstra, 2008. "Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone's Kids," NBER Working Papers 14246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Friesen, Jane & Krauth, Brian, 2007. "Sorting and inequality in Canadian schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2185-2212, December.
  5. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," NBER Working Papers 13670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2008. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jeffrey Grogger, 1997. "Local Violence and Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 659-682.
  8. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 2003. "Teen Drinking and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 178-209, January.
  9. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  10. Daiji Kawaguchi, 2002. "Peer Effects on Substance Use among American Teenagers," ISER Discussion Paper 0567, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
  12. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Local Violence, Educational Attainment, and Teacher Pay," NBER Working Papers 6003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
  14. Diane Whitmore, 2005. "Resource and Peer Impacts on Girls' Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 199-203, May.
  15. Ross, Stephen L. & Turner, Margery Austin & Godfrey, Erin & Smith, Robin R., 2008. "Mortgage lending in Chicago and Los Angeles: A paired testing study of the pre-application process," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 902-919, May.
  16. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ronny Freier & Johanna Storck, 2012. "The Treatment Effect of Attending a High-Quality School and the Influence of Unobservables," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1256, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Fletcher, Jason M. & Frisvold, David E., 2011. "College selectivity and young adult health behaviors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 826-837, October.
  3. Blume, Lawrence E. & Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Jayaraman, Rajshri, 2013. "Linear Social Interactions Models," Economics Series 298, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  4. Vincent Boucher & Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2010. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation," Cahiers de recherche 1007, CIRPEE.
  5. Kaja Høiseth Brugård, 2013. "Gender Peer Effects on Further Education," Working Paper Series 14613, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  6. Anderson, D. Mark & Hansen, Benjamin & Walker, Mary Beth, 2013. "The minimum dropout age and student victimization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 66-74.
  7. Diette, Timothy M. & Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2013. "Gender and Race Heterogeneity: The Impact of Increases in Students with Limited English on Native Students' Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7856, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Olivetti, Claudia & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2013. "Mothers, Friends and Gender Identity," CEPR Discussion Papers 9712, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross & Yuxiu Zhang, 2013. "The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition," Working papers 2013-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  10. Robert Bifulco & Jason M. Fletcher & Sun Jung Oh & Stephen L. Ross, 2012. "Do Classmate Effects Fade Out?," NBER Working Papers 18648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Marcel Fafchamps & Simon Quinn, 2014. "Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-25, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  12. Robert Bifulco & Jason Fletcher & Sun Jung Oh & Stephen L. Ross, 2014. "Do High School Peers Have Persistent Effects on College Attainment and Other Life Outcomes?," Working Papers 2014-005, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

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