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Inference on Peer Effects with Missing Peer Data: Evidence from Project STAR

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  • Aaron Sojourner

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Abstract

This paper studies peer effects on student achievement among first graders randomly assigned to classrooms in Tennessee's Project STAR. The analysis uses previously unexploited pre-assignment achievement measures available for 60 percent of students. Data are not missing at random, making identification challenging. The paper develops new ways, given random assignment of individuals to classes, to identify peer effects without imposing other missing-data assumptions. Estimates suggest positive effects of mean peer lagged achievement on average. Allowing heterogeneous effects, evidence suggests lower-achieving students benefit more than higher-achieving students do from increases in peer mean. Further, the bias in a widely used, poorly understood peer-effects estimator is analyzed, implying that caution is warranted in interpreting many peer-effects estimates extant in the literature.

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File URL: http://www.legacy-irc.csom.umn.edu/RePEC/hrr/papers/0109.pdf
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Paper provided by Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus) in its series Working Papers with number 0109.

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Handle: RePEc:hrr:papers:0109

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Cited by:
  1. Edwin Leuven & Marte Rønning, 2012. "Classroom grade composition and pupil achievement," Discussion Papers 722, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  2. Chetty, Raj & Friedman, John Norton & Hilger, Nathanial & Saez, Emmanuel & Schanzenbach, Dianne Whitmore & Yagan, Danny, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," Scholarly Articles 9639983, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Andreas Ammermueller & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer effects in European primary schools: evidence from PIRLS," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25534, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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