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Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program

  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • Kevin Lang

The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (Metco) is a desegregation program that sends students from Boston schools to more affluent suburbs. Metco increases the number of blacks and reduces test scores in receiving districts. School-level data for Massachusetts and micro data from a large district show no impact of Metco on the scores of white non-Metco students. But the micro estimates show some evidence of an effect on minority third graders, especially girls. Instrumental variables estimates for third graders are imprecise but generally in line with ordinary least squares estimates. Given the localized nature of these results, we conclude that peer effects from Metco are modest and short lived.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 94 (2004)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1613-1634

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:5:p:1613-1634
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828043052169
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  1. Bertrand, M. & Luttmer, E.F.P. & Mullainathan, S., 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Papers 201, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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