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Gender peer effects in university: Evidence from a randomized experiment

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  • Oosterbeek, H.
  • Ewijk, R. van

Abstract

Recent studies for primary and secondary education find positive effects of the share of girls in the classroom on achievement of boys and girls. This study examines whether these results can be extrapolated to post-secondary education. We conduct an experiment in which the shares of girls in workgroups for first year students in economics and business are manipulated and students are randomly assigned to these groups. Boys tend to postpone their dropout decision when surrounded by more girls, and there is also a modest reduction in early absenteeism. On the other hand, boys perform worse on courses with high math content when assigned to a group with many girls. Overall, however, we fail to find substantial gender peer effects on achievement. This in spite of the fact that students in groups with many girls help each other more often and study together more often.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research in its series Working Papers with number 35.

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Date of creation: 00 2010
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Handle: RePEc:tir:wpaper:35

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Keywords: Field experiment; Peer effects; University students;

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  1. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2003. "The Effect of Financial Rewards on Students' Achievements: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bryan S. Graham & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2009. "Complementarity and Aggregate Implications of Assortative Matching: A Nonparametric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 14860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ewijk, R. van & Sleegers, P., . "Peer Ethnicity and Achievement: a Meta-analysis Into the Compositional Effect," Working Papers, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research 19, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
  4. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
  5. Han, Li & Li, Tao, 2009. "The gender difference of peer influence in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 129-134, February.
  6. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2011. "Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-33, April.
  7. Zeynep Hansen & Hideo Owan & Jie Pan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Diversity on Performance and Knowledge Spillover -- An Experiment in a College Classroom," NBER Working Papers 12251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Bas van der Klaauw, 2004. "The e ect of financial rewards on students achievement: Evidence from a randomized experiment," HEW, EconWPA 0410002, EconWPA.
  11. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2010. "Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults," NBER Working Papers 16004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144, August.
  13. Victor Lavy & Anal�a Schlosser, 2011. "Corrigendum: Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 268-268, July.
  14. Ficano, Carlena Cochi, 2012. "Peer effects in college academic outcomes – Gender matters!," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1102-1115.
  15. Diane Whitmore, 2005. "Resource and Peer Impacts on Girls' Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 199-203, May.
  16. Ost, Ben, 2010. "The role of peers and grades in determining major persistence in the sciences," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 923-934, December.
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