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Evaluating the magnitude and the stakes of peer effects analysing science and math achievement across OECD

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  • V. Vandenberghe

Abstract

What follows is an exercise aimed at estimating peer effects' impact on science and math test scores of secondary school students surveyed in 1995 by the International Education Agency across OECD countries. It is also to discuss their importance for educational policy, particularly regarding the highly sensitive issue of ability-grouping. Using this unique international database. This study assesses the magnitude of the peer effect relative to more traditional inputs. Referring to education policy stakes, we control for the presence of increasing or decreasing return. This study also checks for cross effects in order to determine whether peer effects matter more to low or high SES pupils, and whether their final impact on achievement is affected by the underlying level of heterogeneity within the group. Using a methodology, which a priori accounts for the clustering of the data within countries and schools/classrooms - i.e. fixed/random effect or hierarchical model - our analysis indicates that peer effects are strong determinants of both math and science achievement relative to individual SES and other school inputs. The presence of increasing of decreasing returns is not obvious. But we find systematic evidence that low-ability pupils are more sensitive to peer group characteristics. By contrast, this study also find that - for a given level of the peer effect - higher heterogeneity comes at a certain cost. In brief, these results provide no systematic evidence regarding grouping policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2002)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1283-1290

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:34:y:2002:i:10:p:1283-1290

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Cited by:
  1. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2010. "Peer group effects on the academic performance of Italian students," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2203-2215.
  2. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2010. "Peer Heterogeneity, Parental Background and Tracking: Evidence from PISA 2006," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2010-23, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  3. Vandenberghe, V. & Robin, S., 2004. "Evaluating the effectiveness of private education across countries: a comparison of methods," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 487-506, August.
  4. Waltenberg, Fabio D. & Vandenberghe, Vincent, 2007. "What does it take to achieve equality of opportunity in education?: An empirical investigation based on Brazilian data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 709-723, December.
  5. Vincent Vandenberge, 2006. "Achievement effectiveness and equity: the role of tracking, grade repetition and inter-school segregation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(11), pages 685-693.
  6. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2013. "Peer heterogeneity, school tracking and students' performances: evidence from PISA 2006," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(32), pages 4516-4532, November.
  7. Michaelowa, Katharina & Bourdon, Jean, 2006. "The impact of student diversity in secondary schools: An analysis of the international PISA data and implications for the German education system," HWWI Research Papers 3-2, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  8. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
  9. Martí Franquesa Oliveres & Adrián Zancajo Silla, 2010. "Descomposición del efecto inmigrante en el rendimiento académico en Cataluña según la zona origen," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5, in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Greg (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 5, pages 101-116 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.

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