Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment
AbstractIn this paper I use data from Williams College to implement a quasi-experimental empirical strategy aimed at measuring peer effects in academic outcomes. In particular, I use data on individual student's grades, SAT scores, and the SAT scores of their roommates. I argue that first year roommates are assigned randomly with respect to academic ability. This allows me to measure differences in grades of high, medium, or low SAT students living with high, medium or low SAT roommates. With random assignment these estimates would provide compelling estimates of the effect of roommates' academic characteristics on an individual's grades. I also consider the effect of peers at somewhat more aggregated levels. In particular, I consider the effects associated with different "academic environments" in clusters of rooms that define distinct social units. The results suggest that peer effects are almost always linked more strongly with verbal SAT scores than math SAT scores. Students in the middle of the SAT distribution may do somewhat worse in terms of grades if they share a room with a student who is in the bottom 15 percent of the verbal SAT distribution. Students in the top of the SAT distribution are least affected by the SAT scores of their (room or entry) peers. The effects are not large, but are statistically significant in many models.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education with number DP-52.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1999
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
- Gordon Winston & David Zimmerman, 2004.
"Peer Effects in Higher Education,"
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.
- Gordon C. Winston & David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 9501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gordon C. Winston & David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-64, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Winston, Gordon C., 1987. "Activity choice : A new approach to economic behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 567-585, December.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
- Environment and intelligence in Wikipedia English ne '')
- Peer group in Wikipedia English ne '')
- Psicologia de la intel·ligència in Wikipedia Catalan ne '')
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Sheppard).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.