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Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?

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  • Weili Ding

    ()
    (Queen's University)

  • Steven Lehrer

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

Peer effects have figured prominently in debates on school vouchers, desegregation, ability tracking and anti-poverty programs. Compelling evidence of their existence remains scarce for plaguing endogeneity issues such as selection bias and the reflection problem. This paper is among the first to firmly establish the link between peer performance and student achievement, using a unique dataset from China. We find strong evidence that peer effects exist and operate in a positive and nonlinear manner; reducing the variation of peer performance increases achievement; and our semi-parametric estimates clarify the tradeoffs facing policymakers in exploiting positive peers effects to increase future achievement.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1047.pdf
File Function: First version 2005
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1047.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in The Review of Economics and Statistics
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1047

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Keywords: Peer Effects; Ability Grouping; Selection on observables; China; Academic performance; Teacher quality;

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References

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  1. Elizabeth M. Caucutt, 2001. "Peer group effects in applied general equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 25-51.
  2. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," NBER Working Papers 9876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    • 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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  19. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
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  25. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
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