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Estimating peer effects in Swedish high school using school, teacher, and student fixed effects

  • Sund, Krister
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    In this paper I use a rich dataset in order to observe each student in different subjects and courses over time. Unlike most peer studies, I identify the peers and the teachers that each student has had in every classroom. This enables me to handle the simultaneity and selection problems, which are inherent in estimating peer effects in the educational production function. I use a value-added approach with lagged peer achievement to avoid simultaneity and extensive fixed effects to rule out selection. To be specific, it is within-student across-subject variation with additional controls for time-invariant teacher characteristics that is exploited. Moreover, I identify students that are attending classes in which they have no peers from previous education which otherwise might bias the result. I find positive peer effects for the average student but also that there is a non-linear dimension. Lower-achieving students benefit more from an increase in both mean peer achievement and the spread in peer achievement within the classroom than their higher-achieving peers.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 329-336

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:329-336
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
    2. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mary A. Burke & Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Classroom Peer Effects and Student Achievement," Working Papers wp2006_02_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Gordon Winston & David Zimmerman, 2004. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 395-424 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Charter Schools and Student Achievement in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-122, January.
    9. Zimmer, Ron, 2003. "A new twist in the educational tracking debate," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 307-315, June.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
    11. McEwan, Patrick J., 2003. "Peer effects on student achievement: evidence from Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 131-141, April.
    12. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
    13. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
    14. Sund, Krister, 2006. "Detracking Swedish Secondary Schools - Any Losers, Any Winners?," Working Paper Series 2/2006, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
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