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The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Post-secondary Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Bifulco
  • Jason M. Fletcher
  • Stephen L. Ross

Abstract

This paper uses a within-school/across-cohort design to present new evidence of the effects of high school classmate characteristics on a wide range of post-secondary outcomes. We find that increases in the percent of classmates with college-educated mothers decreases the likelihood of dropping out and increases the likelihood of attending college, despite showing no impact on a range of in-school achievement, attitudes, and behaviors. The percent of students from disadvantaged minority groups does not show any effects on post-secondary outcomes, but is associated with students reporting less caring student-teacher relationships and increased prevalence of some undesirable student behaviors during high school. (JEL I21, J13, J15)

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Bifulco & Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross, 2011. "The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Post-secondary Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 25-53, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:25-53
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.1.25
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross, 2006. "Identifying Individual and Group Effects in the Presence of Sorting: A Neighborhood Effects Application," Working papers 2006-13, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2009.
    2. Jeffrey Grogger, 1997. "Local Violence and Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 659-682.
    3. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2010. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 244-262, May.
    4. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    5. Ross, Stephen L. & Turner, Margery Austin & Godfrey, Erin & Smith, Robin R., 2008. "Mortgage lending in Chicago and Los Angeles: A paired testing study of the pre-application process," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 902-919, May.
    6. Daiji Kawaguchi, 2004. "Peer effects on substance use among American teenagers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 351-367, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Diane Whitmore, 2005. "Resource and Peer Impacts on Girls' Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 199-203, May.
    9. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 2003. "Teen Drinking and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 178-209, January.
    10. Scott E. Carrell & Mark L. Hoekstra, 2010. "Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone's Kids," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 211-228, January.
    11. 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, July.
    12. Friesen, Jane & Krauth, Brian, 2007. "Sorting and inequality in Canadian schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2185-2212, December.
    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. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
    15. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
    16. Steven G. Rivkin, 2000. "School Desegregation, Academic Attainment, and Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 333-346.
    17. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Local Violence, Educational Attainment, and Teacher Pay," NBER Working Papers 6003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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