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Peer effects and measurement error: The impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA)

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  • Micklewright, John
  • Schnepf, Sylke V.
  • Silva, Pedro N.

Abstract

Investigation of peer effects on achievement with sample survey data on schools may mean that only a random sample of the population of peers is observed for each individual. This generates measurement error in peer variables similar in form to the textbook case of errors-in-variables, resulting in the estimated peer group effects in an OLS regression model being biased towards zero. We investigate the problem using survey data for England from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) linked to administrative microdata recording information for each PISA sample member's entire year cohort. We calculate a peer group measure based on these complete data and compare its use with a variable based on peers in just the PISA sample. We also use a Monte Carlo experiment to show how the extent of the attenuation bias rises as peer sample size falls. On average, the estimated peer effect is biased downwards by about one third when drawing a sample of peers of the size implied by the PISA survey design.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1136-1142

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1136-1142

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

Related research

Keywords: Peer effects; Measurement error; School surveys; Sampling variation; PISA;

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References

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  1. Matthew Neidell & Jane Waldfogel, 2008. "Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Peer Effects in Early Education," NBER Working Papers 14277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ammermüller, Andreas & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," CEPR Discussion Papers 5660, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Øystein Kravdal, 2006. "A simulation-based assessment of the bias produced when using averages from small DHS clusters as contextual variables in multilevel models," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(1), pages 1-20, July.
  5. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 315-348, 07.
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  8. Jerry Hausman, 2001. "Mismeasured Variables in Econometric Analysis: Problems from the Right and Problems from the Left," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 57-67, Fall.
  9. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
  10. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  11. 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.
  12. Henry, Gary T. & Rickman, Dana K., 2007. "Do peers influence children's skill development in preschool?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 100-112, February.
  13. John Micklewright & Sylke Schnepf & Chris J. Skinner, 2012. "Non-response biases in surveys of schoolchildren: the case of the English Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) samples," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Pedro N. Silva & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2012. "The impact of sampling variation on peer measures: a comment on a proposal to adjust estimates for measurement error," DoQSS Working Papers 12-12, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  15. Aaron Sojourner, 2013. "Identification of Peer Effects with Missing Peer Data: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(569), pages 574-605, 06.
  16. Ron W Zimmer & Eugenia F Toma, 2000. "Peer effects in private and public schools across countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 75-92.
  17. Simon Burgess & Brendon McConnell & Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Sorting and Choice in English Secondary Schools," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/111, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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Cited by:
  1. Pedro N. Silva & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2012. "The impact of sampling variation on peer measures: a comment on a proposal to adjust estimates for measurement error," DoQSS Working Papers 12-12, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.

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