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The effect of peer socioeconomic status on student achievement: a meta-analysis

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  • Ewijk, R. van
  • Sleegers, P

Abstract

Previous studies on the effects on students' test scores of their peers' socioeconomic status (SES) reported varying results. A meta-regression analysis including 30 studies on the topic shows that the compositional effect that researchers find is strongly related to how they measure SES and to their model choice. If they measure SES dichotomously (e.g. free lunch eligibility) or include several average SES-variables in one model, they find smaller effects than when using a composite that captures several SES-dimensions. Composition measured at cohort/school level is associated with smaller effects than composition measured at class level. Researchers estimating compositional effects without controlling for prior achievement or not taking into account the potential for omitted variables bias, risk overestimating the effect. Correcting for a large set of not well thought-over covariates may lead to an underestimation of the compositional effect, by artificially explaining away the effect. Little evidence was found that effect sizes differ with sample characteristics such as test type (language vs. math) and country. Estimates for a hypothetical study, making a number of "ideal" choices, suggest that peer SES may be an important determinant of academic achievement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research in its series Working Papers with number 20.

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Handle: RePEc:tir:wpaper:20

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Cited by:
  1. Dronkers, Jaap, 2010. "Positive but also negative effects of ethnic diversity in schools on educational performance? An empirical test using cross-national PISA data," MPRA Paper 25598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Zwick Th., 2013. "Determinants of individual academic achievement - Group selectivity effects have many dimensions," ROA Research Memorandum, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  3. Cain Polidano & Barbara Hanel & Hielke Buddelmeyer, 2012. "Explaining the SES School Completion Gap," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne wp2012n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Dronkers, Jaap, 2010. "Positieve maar ook negatieve effecten van etnische diversiteit in scholen op onderwijsprestaties? Een empirische toets met internationale PISA-data
    [Positive but also negative effects of ethnic div
    ," MPRA Paper 23824, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ong, Cheng Boon & De Witte, Kristof, 2013. "The influence of ethnic segregation and school mobility in primary education on high school dropout: Evidence from regression discontinuity at a contextual tipping point," MERIT Working Papers, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 064, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  6. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2011. "Overeducation and Mismatch in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Tommaso Agasisti & Sergio Longobardi, 2012. "Inequality in education: can Italian disadvantaged students close the gap? A focus on resilience in the Italian school system," Working Papers, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) 2012/39, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  8. Jaap Dronkers & Rolf van der Velden, 2012. "Positive but also negative effects of ethnic diversity in schools on educational performance? An empirical test using PISA data," CReAM Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London 1211, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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