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Do Peer Groups Matter? Peer Group versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment

  • Donald Robertson

    (University of Cambridge)

  • James Symons

    (University College London)

This paper estimates an educational production function. Educational attainment is a function of peer group, parental input and schooling. Conventional measures of school quality are not good predictors for academic attainment, once we control for peer group effects; parental qualities also have strong effects on academic attainment. This academic attainment is a then a key determinant of subsequent labour market success, as measured by earnings. The main methodological innovation in this paper is the nomination of a set of instruments, very broad regions of birth, which, as a whole, pass close scrutiny for validity and permit unbiased estimation of the production function. Copyright The London School of Economics and Political Science 2003

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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 277 (February)
Pages: 31-53

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:70:y:2003:i:277:p:31-53
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  1. Robertson, Donald & Symons, James, 1990. "The Occupational Choice of British Children," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 828-41, September.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Thomas A. Dunn, 1995. "The Effects of School and Family Characteristics on the Return to Education," NBER Working Papers 5072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 2003. "Self-selection in the state school system," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 259-272.
  4. Betts, Julian R, 1995. "Does School Quality Matter? Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 231-50, May.
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