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The impact of peer ability and heterogeneity on student achievement: Evidence from a natural experiment

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  • Kiss, David

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of peer achievement and variance on math achievement growth. It exploits exogenous variation in peer characteristics generated at the transition to upper-secondary school in a sample of Berlin fifth graders. Parents and schools are barely able to condition their decisions on peer characteristics since classes are newly built up from a large pool of elementary school pupils. I find positive peer effects on achievement growth and no effects for peer variance. Lower-achieving pupils benefit more from abler peers. Results from simulations suggest that pupils are slightly better off in comprehensive than in ability-tracked school systems. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW) in its series IWQW Discussion Paper Series with number 02/2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:022011

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Web page: http://www.iwqw.rw.uni-erlangen.de/
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Keywords: peer effects in secondary school; comparison between ability-tracked and comprehensive school; natural experiment;

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  1. Dardanoni Valentino & Modica Salvatore & Pennsi Aline, 2009. "Grading Across Schools," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, April.
  2. Philipp Bauer & Regina Riphahn, 2007. "Heterogeneity in the intergenerational transmission of educational attainment: evidence from Switzerland on natives and second-generation immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 121-148, February.
  3. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, 07.
  4. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2006. "The Effect of School Choice on Participants: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1191-1230, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. Zwick Th., 2013. "Determinants of individual academic achievement - Group selectivity effects have many dimensions," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

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