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Right Peer, Right Now? Endogenous Peer Effects and Achievement in Victorian Primary Schools

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  • Duncan McVicar

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Julie Moschion

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Chris Ryan

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper presents estimates of endogenous peer effects in pupils’ school achievement using data on national test scores, across multiple subjects and cohorts, for the population of primary school pupils in Years 3 and 5 (aged 7/8 and 9/10 years) in the Australian state of Victoria. Identification is achieved via school-grade fixed effects and instrumental variables (IV), exploiting plausibly random differences in the age distribution of peers and their gender mix across cohorts. The results provide strong evidence for the existence of endogenous peer effects across all subjects, with the IV estimates close in magnitude to the corresponding fixed-effects estimates, although less precisely estimated. In reading, for example, a one point increase in peers’ average test scores leads to between a .14 and .39 point increase in own test score, with similar ranges across other subjects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2013n22.

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Length: 57pp
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2013n22

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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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Keywords: Endogenous peer effects; school achievement; education; Australia;

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