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Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School

  • Victor Lavy
  • Analia Schlosser

We present in this paper evidence about the effects and mechanisms of gender peer effects in elementary, middle, and high schools. For identification, we rely on idiosyncratic variations in gender composition across adjacent cohorts within the same schools. We find that an increase in the proportion of girls improves boys and girls' cognitive outcomes. These academic gains are mediated through lower levels of classroom disruption and violence, improved inter-student and student-teacher relationships, and lessened teachers' fatigue. We find no effect on individual behavior, which suggests that the positive effects of girls on classroom environment are mostly due to compositional change. (JEL I21, J16)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 1-33

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:1-33
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.2.1
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  1. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803.
  2. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Kling, Jeffrey & Liebman, Jeffrey, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Paper Series rwp04-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
  6. Zimmerman, David J., 1999. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-52, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  7. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 315-348, 07.
  8. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2005. "Targeted Remedial Education for Underperforming Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 839-874, October.
  9. Eric D. Gould & Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman, 2009. "Does Immigration Affect the Long-Term Educational Outcomes of Natives? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1243-1269, October.
  10. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor, 2004. "The Effect of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a School-Centered Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 1146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Jacob M. Markman & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Does Peer Ability Affect Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 8502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
  14. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Papers 1, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  15. 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.
  16. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, 01.
  17. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
  19. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
  20. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
  21. Arcidiacono, Peter & Nicholson, Sean, 2005. "Peer effects in medical school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 327-350, February.
  22. Michael A. Boozer & Stephen E. Cacciola, 2001. "Inside the 'Black Box' of Project STAR: Estimation of Peer Effects Using Experimental Data," Working Papers 832, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  23. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01m613mx58m is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Steve Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2006. "Peer Effects and Pupil Attainment: Evidence from Secondary School Transition," CEE Discussion Papers 0063, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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