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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 when individuals interact in groups. Assuming sufficient group size variation, this approach allows to control for correlated effects at the group level and to solve the simultaneity (reflection) problem. We clarify the intuition behind identification of peer effects in the model. We investigate peer effects in student achievement in French, Science, Mathematics and History in secondary schools in the Province of Québec (Canada). We estimate the model using conditional maximum likelihood and instrumental variables methods. We find some evidence of peer effects. The endogenous peer effect is large and significant in Math but imprecisely estimated in the other subjects. Some contextual peer effects are also significant. In particular, for most subjects, the average age of peers has a negative effect on own test score. Using calibrated Monte Carlo simulations, we find that high dispersion in group sizes helps with potential issues of weak identification.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2012s-31.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2012s-31

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Keywords: peer effects; student achievement; reflection problem;

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Cited by:
  1. Yaman, F., 2011. "Ethnic externalities and 2nd generation immigrants," Working Papers 11/08, Department of Economics, City University London.
  2. 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.
  3. Liu, Xiaodong & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Peer Effects in Education, Sport, and Screen Activities: Local Aggregate or Local Average?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8477, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. 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.
  6. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2012. "Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions," Economics Working Papers we1228, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2009. "Public Subsidies to Private Schools Do Make a Difference for Achievement in Mathematics: Longitudinal Evidence from Canada," Cahiers de recherche 0935, CIRPEE.
  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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