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

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  • Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

The belief that the behaviour and outcomes of compulsory school students are affected by their peers has been important in shaping education policy. I analyze two polar education systems -tracking and mixing- and propose several criteria for their comparison. The system that maximizes average human capital, I find, depends crucially on the level of complementarity between peer effects and individuals' ability. I also find that when mean innate ability is much higher among the rich than among the poor, the system that best maximizes average human capital is mixing. However, there is no unanimity in the overall population so as to which system to choose.

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File URL: http://www.upo.es/serv/bib/wps/econ0714.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07.14.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:07.14

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Keywords: Peer effects; Tracking; Mixing.;

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  1. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 2003. "Do Peer Groups Matter? Peer Group versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 31-53, February.
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  7. Marisa Hidalgo, 2005. "Peer Group Effects And Optimal Education System," Working Papers. Serie AD 2005-12, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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  21. Plug, Erik & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2001. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is it Nature or is it Nurture?," IZA Discussion Papers 247, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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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, 2009. "Tracking can be more equitable than mixing: peer effects and college attendance," Working Papers 09.04, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2012.

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