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What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds

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  • Stinebrickner, Ralph
  • Stinebrickner, Todd R.

Abstract

Previous papers which examine the importance of peer effects using exogenous variation in college roommates have found only very limited evidence that a student’s first year grade performance is influenced by the observable academic characteristics of his/her roommate. One possible explanation for this finding is that peer effects do not play a particularly important role in the higher education setting. However, another very plausible explanation for this finding is that peer effects are important in higher education but that these previous empirical efforts have simply not been “looking in the right place” to find the evidence of peer effects in this setting. Thus, while these papers have received considerable attention due to the general difficulty of finding credible exogenous variation in peer quality, they have difficulty answering the most fundamental question related to peer effects in this higher education - whether peer effects play an important role or not. This paper provides depth to the peer effects literature using unique new survey and administrative data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 90 (2006)
Issue (Month): 8-9 (September)
Pages: 1435-1454

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:90:y:2006:i:8-9:p:1435-1454

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
  2. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4324, Mathematica Policy Research.
  3. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2001. "Working During School and Academic Performance," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20011, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  5. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," NBER Working Papers 9876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Zimmerman, David J., 1999. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-52, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  7. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2007. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," NBER Working Papers 13341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2003. "Understanding Educational Outcomes of Students from Low-Income Families: Evidence from a Liberal Arts College with a Full Tuition Subsidy Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  9. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, T.R.Todd R., 2004. "Time-use and college outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 243-269.
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