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Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation

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  • Vincent Boucher
  • Yann Bramoullé
  • Habiba Djebbari
  • Bernard Fortin

    ()

Abstract

We provide the first empirical application of a new approach proposed by Lee (2007) to estimate peer effects in a linear-in-means model. This approach allows to control for group-level unobservables and to solve the reflection problem. We investigate peer effects in student achievement in Mathematics, Science, French and History in Quebec secondary schools. We estimate the model using maximum likelihood and instrumental variables methods. We find evidence of peer effects. The endogenous peer effect is positive, when significant, and some contextual peer effects matter. Using calibrated Monte Carlo simulations, we find that high dispersion in group sizes helps with potential issues of weak identification. Nous présentons une première application empirique d’une nouvelle approche développée par Lee (2007) pour estimer les effets de pairs dans un modèle linéaire-en-moyenne. Cette méthode permet de tenir compte des variables non-observées au niveau du groupe et de solutionner le problème de réflexion. Nous estimons les effets de pairs sur la performance scolaire (mesurée par les résultats aux épreuves du ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport) en Mathématiques, en Science, en Français et en Histoire dans les écoles secondaires du Québec. À cette fin, nous utilisons des méthodes de maximum de vraisemblance et de variables instrumentales. Nos résultats corroborent la présence d’effets de pairs. L’effet de pair endogène est positif, lorsqu’il est significatif. En particulier, une hausse d’un point dans la note moyenne de ses pairs accroît la note de l’élève de 0,5 en Français, de 0,65 en Histoire et 0,83 en Math (514). En outre, certains effets contextuels ont de l’importance. À partir de simulations Monte Carlo, nous trouvons qu’une grande variabilité dans la taille des groupes peut réduire les problèmes d’identification faible.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2010s-08.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2010s-08

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Keywords: peer effects; student achievement; reflection problem; effets de pairs; performance scolaire; problème de réflexion;

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Cited by:
  1. eleonora patacchini & Yves Zenou & Xiaodong Liu, 2012. "Peer effects in education, sport and screen activities: local aggregate or local average?," 2012 Meeting Papers 1198, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Yaman, F., 2011. "Ethnic externalities and 2nd generation immigrants," Working Papers 11/08, Department of Economics, City University London.
  3. Lefebvre, Pierre & Merrigan, Philip & Verstraete, Matthieu, 2011. "Public subsidies to private schools do make a difference for achievement in mathematics: Longitudinal evidence from Canada," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 79-98, February.
  4. Louis N. Christofides & Michael Hoy & Joniada Milla & Thanasis Stengos, 2012. "The Implication of Peer and Parental Influences on University Attendance: A Gender Comparison," Working Papers 1201, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  5. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Ezgi Kaya, 2013. "Young adults living with their parents and the influence of peers," Economics Working Papers we1310, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  6. Salvador Contreras & Frank Badua & Mitchell Adrian, 2012. "Peer Effects on Undergraduate Business Student Performance," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(1), pages 57-66.
  7. Mary-Françoise Renard & Huanxiu GUO, 2013. "Social activity and collective action for agricultural innovation: a case study of New Rural Reconstruction in China," Working Papers halshs-00802119, HAL.
  8. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2012. "Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions," Economics Working Papers we1228, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  9. Duncan McVicar & Julie Moschion & Chris Ryan, 2013. "Right Peer, Right Now? Endogenous Peer Effects and Achievement in Victorian Primary Schools," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n22, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  10. Christofides, Louis N. & Hoy, Michael & Milla, Joniada & Stengos, Thanasis, 2012. "Grades, Aspirations and Post-Secondary Education Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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