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Peer effects and measurement error: The impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA)

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  • Micklewright, John
  • Schnepf, Sylke V.
  • Silva, Pedro N.

Abstract

Investigation of peer effects on achievement with sample survey data on schools may mean that only a random sample of the population of peers is observed for each individual. This generates measurement error in peer variables similar in form to the textbook case of errors-in-variables, resulting in the estimated peer group effects in an OLS regression model being biased towards zero. We investigate the problem using survey data for England from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) linked to administrative microdata recording information for each PISA sample member's entire year cohort. We calculate a peer group measure based on these complete data and compare its use with a variable based on peers in just the PISA sample. We also use a Monte Carlo experiment to show how the extent of the attenuation bias rises as peer sample size falls. On average, the estimated peer effect is biased downwards by about one third when drawing a sample of peers of the size implied by the PISA survey design.

Suggested Citation

  • Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V. & Silva, Pedro N., 2012. "Peer effects and measurement error: The impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA)," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1136-1142.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1136-1142
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.07.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    14. Pedro N. Silva & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2012. "The impact of sampling variation on peer measures: a comment on a proposal to adjust estimates for measurement error," DoQSS Working Papers 12-12, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    15. Ron W Zimmer & Eugenia F Toma, 2000. "Peer effects in private and public schools across countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 75-92.
    16. Øystein Kravdal, 2006. "A simulation-based assessment of the bias produced when using averages from small DHS clusters as contextual variables in multilevel models," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(1), pages 1-20, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Hongliang, 2016. "The role of testing noise in the estimation of achievement-based peer effects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 113-123.
    2. Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Rapallini, Chiara, 2016. "Immigrant student performance in Math: Does it matter where you come from?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 291-304.
    3. repec:taf:vjerxx:v:109:y:2016:i:1:p:37-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jerrim, John & Lopez-Agudo, Luis Alejandro & Marcenaro-Gutierrez, Oscar D. & Shure, Dominique, 2017. "What Happens When Econometrics and Psychometrics Collide? An Example Using the PISA Data," IZA Discussion Papers 10847, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Pedro N. Silva & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2012. "The impact of sampling variation on peer measures: a comment on a proposal to adjust estimates for measurement error," DoQSS Working Papers 12-12, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    6. Vardardottir, Arna, 2015. "The impact of classroom peers in a streaming system," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 110-128.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer effects; Measurement error; School surveys; Sampling variation; PISA;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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