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On the optimal allocation of students when peer effect works: Tracking vs Mixing

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  • Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo

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Abstract

The belief that both the behavior and outcomes of students are affected by their peers is important in shaping education policy. I analyze two polar education systems -tracking and mixing- and propose several criteria for their comparison. I find that tracking is the system that maximizes average human capital in societies where the distribution of pre-school achievement is not very dispersed. I also find that when peer effects and individuals’ pre-school achievement are close substitutes, all risk averse individuals prefer mixing.

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File URL: http://www.le.ac.uk/economics/research/RePEc/lec/leecon/dp08-18.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 08/18.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:08/18

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Postal: Department of Economics University of Leicester, University Road. Leicester. LE1 7RH. UK
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Keywords: Human Capital; Efficiency; Peer Effects; Tracking; Mixing;

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References

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  1. Erik Plug & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is It Nature or Is It Nurture?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 611-641, June.
  2. Laura M. Argys & Daniel I. Rees & Dominic J. Brewer, 1996. "Detracking America's schools: Equity at zero cost?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 623-645.
  3. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Figlio, David N. & Page, Marianne E., 2002. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Inequality?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 497-514, May.
  5. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
  6. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
  7. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 1996. "Do peer Groups Matter? Peer Groups versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0311, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Gordon C. Winston & David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 9501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Gordon Winston & David Zimmerman, 2004. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 395-424 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Holger Sieg & Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2003. "Peer effects, financial aid and selection of students into colleges and universities: an empirical analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 501-525.
  10. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Roemer, J-E & Wets, R-J-B, 1994. "Neighborhood Effects on Belief Formation and the Distribution of Education and Income," Papers 94-02, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  13. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
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  15. Arnott, Richard & Rowse, John, 1987. "Peer group effects and educational attainment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 287-305, April.
  16. Marisa Hidalgo, 2005. "Peer Group Effects And Optimal Education System," Working Papers. Serie AD 2005-12, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  17. Rees, Daniel I. & Argys, Laura M. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1996. "Tracking in the United States: Descriptive statistics from NELS," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 83-89, February.
  18. Kang, Changhui, 2007. "Classroom peer effects and academic achievement: Quasi-randomization evidence from South Korea," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 458-495, May.
  19. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  20. Feinstein, Leon & Symons, James, 1999. "Attainment in Secondary School," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 300-321, April.
  21. Ron W Zimmer & Eugenia F Toma, 2000. "Peer effects in private and public schools across countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 75-92.
  22. Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter & Sauvageau, Yvon, 1978. "Peer group effects and educational production functions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 97-106, August.
  23. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
  24. Streufert, Peter, 2000. " The Effect of Underclass Social Isolation on Schooling Choice," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(4), pages 461-82.
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Cited by:
  1. Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo, 2010. "Tracking can be more equitable than mixing: Peer effects and college attendance," Working Papers 162, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Andreas Ammermueller, 2013. "Institutional Features of Schooling Systems and Educational Inequality: Cross-Country Evidence From PIRLS and PISA," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(2), pages 190-213, 05.

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