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The Good, the Bad, and the Average: Evidence on Ability Peer Effects in Schools

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  • Victor Lavy
  • Olmo Silva
  • Felix Weinhardt

Abstract

We study ability peer effects in English secondary schools using data on four cohorts of students taking age-14 national tests and measuring peers’ ability by prior achievements at age 11. Our identification is based on within-pupil regressions exploiting variation in achievements across three compulsory subjects tested at age 14 and age 11. Using this novel strategy, we find significant and sizable negative effects arising from bad peers at the bottom of the ability distribution but little evidence that average peer quality and good peers matter. However, these results are heterogeneous, with girls benefiting from academically bright peers and boys not.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/663592
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/663592
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 367 - 414

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/663592

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Cordero, José Manuel & Prior, Diego & Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa, 2013. "A comparison of public and private schools in Spain using robust nonparametric frontier methods," MPRA Paper 51375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. 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.
  3. Storck, Johanna & Freier, Ronny, 2013. "The Treatment Effect of Attending a High-Quality School and the Influence of Unobservables," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79879, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Steve Gibbons & Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2009. "Valuing School Quality Using Boundary Discontinuities," SERC Discussion Papers 0018, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  5. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2013. "The Importance of Rank Position," CEP Discussion Papers dp1241, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2014. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," CESifo Working Paper Series 4815, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Victor Lavy & Edith Sand, 2012. "The Friends Factor: How Students’ Social Networks Affect Their Academic Achievement and Well-Being?," NBER Working Papers 18430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Antecol, Heather & Eren, Ozkan & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2013. "Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7694, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Eric Parsons, 2013. "The Icarus Syndrome: Why Do Some High Flyers Soar While Others Fall?," Working Papers 1308, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  10. Stephen Gibbons & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2013. "Everybody Needs Good Neighbours? Evidence from Students’ Outcomes in England," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123, pages 831-874, 09.
  11. Agnes Baeker & Mario Mechtel, 2013. "The Role of Task Meaning on Output in Groups: Experimental Evidence," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201308, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  12. Ronny Freier & Johanna Storck, 2012. "The Treatment Effect of Attending a High-Quality School and the Influence of Unobservables," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 530, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  13. Hunt, Jennifer, 2012. "The Impact of Immigration on the Educational Attainment of Natives," CEPR Discussion Papers 9170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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