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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
Phone: +44 (0)116 252 2887
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Web page: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/economics
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Keywords: Human Capital; Efficiency; Peer Effects; Tracking; Mixing;

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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  7. David N. Figlio & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Equality?," NBER Working Papers 8055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  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. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  18. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  19. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 1982. "Peer Group Effects and Educational Attainment," Working Papers 497, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  22. 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.
  23. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  24. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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