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Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation

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  • Boucher, Vincent
  • Bramoullé, Yann
  • Djebbari, Habiba
  • Fortin, Bernard

Abstract

We provide the first empirical application of a new approach proposed by Lee (2007) to estimate peer effects in a linear-in-means model. The approach allows to control for group-level unobservables and to solve the reflection problem, without imposing ad hoc exclusion restrictions or requiring peers to be randomly assigned to groups. We investigate the presence of peer effects in student achievement in mathematics, science, french and history at the end of secondary school in the province of Quebec (Canada). We use an original dataset that covers three fourth of all schools in Quebec and contains test scores to the standardized provincial exam required for graduation. We estimate the model using both maximum likelihood and methods based on instrumental variables. We find evidence of peer effects. The endogenous peer effect is positive, when significant, and some contextual peer effects matter. Issues of weak identification that may be present in our estimates are analyzed using calibrated Monte Carlo simulations. We find that identification is much helped by a high variance in peer group sizes.

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File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2056%20-%20Boucher,%20Bramoulle,%20Djebbari%20and%20Fortin.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2010-8.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 27 Feb 2010
Date of revision: 27 Feb 2010
Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2010-8

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Web page: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/

Related research

Keywords: Peer Effects; Student Achievement; Reflection Problem;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Louis N. Christofides & Michael Hoy & Joniada Milla & Thanasis Stengos, 2012. "The Implication of Peer and Parental Influences on University Attendance: A Gender Comparison," Working Papers 1201, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  2. Lefebvre, Pierre & Merrigan, Philip & Verstraete, Matthieu, 2011. "Public subsidies to private schools do make a difference for achievement in mathematics: Longitudinal evidence from Canada," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 79-98, February.
  3. eleonora patacchini & Yves Zenou & Xiaodong Liu, 2012. "Peer effects in education, sport and screen activities: local aggregate or local average?," 2012 Meeting Papers 1198, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Christofides, Louis N. & Hoy, Michael & Milla, Joniada & Stengos, Thanasis, 2012. "Grades, Aspirations and Post-Secondary Education Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Duncan McVicar & Julie Moschion & Chris Ryan, 2013. "Right Peer, Right Now? Endogenous Peer Effects and Achievement in Victorian Primary Schools," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n22, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Mary-Françoise Renard & Huanxiu GUO, 2013. "Social activity and collective action for agricultural innovation: a case study of New Rural Reconstruction in China," Working Papers halshs-00802119, HAL.
  7. Yaman, F., 2011. "Ethnic externalities and 2nd generation immigrants," Working Papers 11/08, Department of Economics, City University London.
  8. Salvador Contreras & Frank Badua & Mitchell Adrian, 2012. "Peer Effects on Undergraduate Business Student Performance," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(1), pages 57-66.
  9. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Ezgi Kaya, 2013. "Young adults living with their parents and the influence of peers," Economics Working Papers we1310, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  10. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2012. "Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions," Economics Working Papers we1228, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.

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