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Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and Their Peers

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  • David N. Figlio

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Florida and NBER)

Abstract

This article proposes an unusual identification strategy to estimate the effects of disruptive students on peer behavior and academic outcomes. Because boys with names most commonly given to girls may be more prone to misbehavior as they get older, they may become differentially disruptive in school. In elementary school there is no relationship between names and boys' behavior, but on transition to middle school, a large gap emerges in behavior between boys with names associated with girls and other boys. Using boys' names as an instrumental variable, I utilize data on names, classroom assignment, behavior problems, and student test scores from a large Florida school district in the school years spanning 1996–97 through 1999–2000 to directly measure the effects of classroom disruption on peer performance. I find that behavior problems are associated with increased peer disciplinary problems and reduced peer test scores, indicating that disruptive behavior of students has negative ramifications for their peers. © 2007 American Education Finance Association

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/edfp.2007.2.4.376
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 376-394

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:2:y:2007:i:4:p:376-394

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Related research

Keywords: disruptive students; peer behavior; behavior problems; peer performance;

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research 02-85, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 349-383, 07.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803, August.
  5. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
  6. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Zimmerman, David J., 1999. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education, Department of Economics, Williams College DP-52, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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