IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecoedu/v36y2013icp108-121.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Peer effects and academic achievement: a regression discontinuity approach

Author

Listed:
  • Vardardottir, Arna

Abstract

In this paper, I study ability peer effects among teenagers. The identification relies on a fuzzy regression discontinuity approach where assignment into high-ability classes constitutes the source of identifying information. An important feature of this system is that both types of classes are taught by the same teachers, they follow a common curriculum and take the same exams. Students are in general unaware of the system prior to school start as it is unofficial. In cases where they are informed of the system's existence, they do not know where the threshold lies and school switching possibilities are limited. I find significant and sizable effect on the academic achievement of students around the assignment threshold. Being assigned to a high-ability class increases academic achievement, measured by year grade and spring exam results, by 0.47 and 0.32 standard deviations, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Vardardottir, Arna, 2013. "Peer effects and academic achievement: a regression discontinuity approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 108-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:108-121
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.06.011
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775713000927
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.06.011?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
    2. Weili Ding & Steven F. Lehrer, 2007. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 300-312, May.
    3. Mary A. Burke & Tim R. Sass, 2013. "Classroom Peer Effects and Student Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 51-82.
    4. Scott E. Carrell & Frederick V. Malmstrom & James E. West, 2008. "Peer Effects in Academic Cheating," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    5. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2007. "Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1193-1215, October.
    6. Lisa Sanbonmatsu & Jeffrey R. Kling & Greg J. Duncan & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2006. "Neighborhoods and Academic Achievement: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    7. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    8. Michael Kremer & Dan Levy, 2008. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use among College Students," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 189-206, Summer.
    9. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2006. "What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1435-1454, September.
    10. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
    11. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    12. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," CEE Discussion Papers 0065, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    13. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
    14. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    15. Lefgren, Lars, 2004. "Educational peer effects and the Chicago public schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 169-191, September.
    16. Eisenkopf, Gerald, 2010. "Peer effects, motivation, and learning," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 364-374, June.
    17. Zimmer, Ron, 2003. "A new twist in the educational tracking debate," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 307-315, June.
    18. David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
    19. Nicole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Peer effects in Austrian schools," Studies in Empirical Economics, in: Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Stephen Machin (ed.), The Economics of Education and Training, pages 133-155, Springer.
    20. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    21. 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.
    22. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2009. "The Good, the Bad and the Average: Evidence on the Scale and Nature of Ability Peer Effects in Schools," NBER Working Papers 15600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    24. 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.
    25. Scott A. Imberman & Adriana D. Kugler & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2012. "Katrina's Children: Evidence on the Structure of Peer Effects from Hurricane Evacuees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2048-2082, August.
    26. Sa A. Bui & Steven G. Craig & Scott A. Imberman, 2011. "Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Achievement," NBER Working Papers 17089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Beatrice Rangvid, 2007. "School composition effects in Denmark: quantile regression evidence from PISA 2000," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 359-388, September.
    28. Boozer, Michael A. & Cacciola, Stephen E., 2001. "Inside the 'Black Box' of Project Star: Estimation of Peer Effects Using Experimental Data," Center Discussion Papers 28524, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    29. Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, May.
    30. Sund, Krister, 2009. "Estimating peer effects in Swedish high school using school, teacher, and student fixed effects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-336, June.
    31. Scott E. Carrell & Bruce I. Sacerdote & James E. West, 2011. "From Natural Variation to Optimal Policy? The Lucas Critique Meets Peer Effects," NBER Working Papers 16865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    33. 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, September.
    34. 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.
    35. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654.
    36. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    37. van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "Breaking the link between poverty and low student achievement: An evaluation of Title I," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 731-756, February.
    38. 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.
    39. 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.
    40. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    42. McEwan, Patrick J., 2003. "Peer effects on student achievement: evidence from Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 131-141, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. de Roux, Nicolás & Riehl, Evan, 2022. "Do college students benefit from placement into higher-achieving classes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 210(C).
    2. Ronny Freier & Johanna Storck, 2012. "The Treatment Effect of Attending a High-Quality School and the Influence of Unobservables," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 530, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Christopher Belfield & Imran Rasul, 2020. "Cognitive and Non‐Cognitive Impacts of High‐Ability Peers in Early Years," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 65-100, March.
    4. Baert, Stijn & Omey, Eddy & Verhaest, Dieter & Vermeir, Aurélie, 2015. "Mister Sandman, bring me good marks! On the relationship between sleep quality and academic achievement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 91-98.
    5. Alice Battiston & Sophie Hedges & Thomas Lazarowicz & Stefan Speckesser, 2020. "Peer Effects and Social Influence in Post-16 Educational Choice," CVER Research Papers 025, Centre for Vocational Education Research.
    6. Alexandra de Gendre & Nicolás Salamanca, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2020n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    7. Alfred Kechia Mukong, 2017. "Peer Networks and Tobacco Consumption in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(3), pages 341-367, September.
    8. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2016. "Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2783-2816, October.
    9. John Jerrim & Luis Alejandro Lopez‐Agudo & Oscar David Marcenaro‐Gutierrez, 2021. "Posh but Poor: The Association Between Relative Socio‐Economic Status and Children’s Academic Performance," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 67(2), pages 334-362, June.
    10. Prieto-Latorre, Claudia & Lopez-Agudo, Luis Alejandro & Luque, Mariano & Marcenaro-Gutierrez, Oscar David, 2022. "The ideal use of the internet and academic success: Finding a balance between competences and knowledge using interval multiobjective programming," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    11. Ejermo, Olof & Hansen, Høgni Kalsø, 2014. "How Important are Local Inventive Milieus: The role of Birthplace, High School and University Education," Papers in Innovation Studies 2014/15, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    12. Min, Shi & Yuan, Zhouhang & Wang, Xiaobing & Hou, Lingling, 2019. "Do peer effects influence the academic performance of rural students at private migrant schools in China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 418-433.
    13. Stefan Speckesser & Sophie Hedges, 2017. "Peer Effects and Social Influence in Post-16 Educational Choice," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 483, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    14. Claudia Prieto-Latorre & Oscar D. Marcenaro-Gutierrez & Luis Alejandro Lopez-Agudo, 2021. "The Role of Catchment Areas on School Segregation by Economic, Social and Cultural Characteristics," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 1013-1044, December.
    15. Li, Ling & Liu, Yutian & Peng, Zhenfei & Liao, Meiqin & Lu, Liucun & Liao, Huan & Li, Hui, 2020. "Peer relationships, motivation, self-efficacy, and science literacy in ethnic minority adolescents in China: A moderated mediation model," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    16. Pilar Beneito & Inés Rosell, 2018. "Gender responses to competitive pressure in college: a regression discontinuity design," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0518, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
    17. Vardardottir, Arna, 2015. "The impact of classroom peers in a streaming system," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 110-128.
    18. Sophie Hedges & Stefan Speckesser, 2017. "Peer Effects and Social Influence in Post-16 Educational Choice," CVER Research Papers 008, Centre for Vocational Education Research.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Cicala, Steve & Fryer, Roland G. & Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2011. "A Roy Model of Social Interactions," MPRA Paper 29150, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gordon B. Dahl & Katrine V. L?ken & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "Peer Effects in Program Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2049-2074, July.
    3. Stephen Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2016. "Peer Effects: Evidence from Secondary School Transition in England," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(4), pages 548-575, August.
    4. Ryan Yeung & Phuong Nguyen-Hoang, 2016. "Endogenous peer effects: Fact or fiction?," The Journal of Educational Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 109(1), pages 37-49, January.
    5. Antecol, Heather & Eren, Ozkan & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2013. "Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7694, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Vardardottir, Arna, 2015. "The impact of classroom peers in a streaming system," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 110-128.
    7. Alexandra de Gendre & Nicolás Salamanca, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2020n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    8. Silvia Mendolia & Alfredo R Paloyo & Ian Walker, 2018. "Heterogeneous effects of high school peers on educational outcomes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 613-634.
    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. Vincent Boucher & Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2014. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence From Canada Using Group Size Variation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 91-109, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Ahn, Tom & Trogdon, Justin G., 2017. "Peer delinquency and student achievement in middle school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 192-217.
    13. Kang, Changhui, 2007. "Classroom peer effects and academic achievement: Quasi-randomization evidence from South Korea," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 458-495, May.
    14. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2013. "Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 119-153.
    15. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    16. Kiss, David, 2013. "The impact of peer achievement and peer heterogeneity on own achievement growth: Evidence from school transitions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 58-65.
    17. ÖZGÜR, Onur & BISIN, Alberto, 2011. "Dynamic Linear Economies with Social Interactions," Cahiers de recherche 04-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    18. Li, Tao & Han, Li & Zhang, Linxiu & Rozelle, Scott, 2014. "Encouraging classroom peer interactions: Evidence from Chinese migrant schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 29-45.
    19. Duncan McVicar & Julie Moschion & Chris Ryan, 2013. "Right Peer, Right Now? Endogenous Peer Effects and Achievement in Victorian Primary Schools," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n22, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    20. Jeffrey Parker, 2012. "Does Living Near Classmates Help Introductory Economics Students Get Better Grades?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 149-164, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Peer effects; Fuzzy regressiondiscontinuity approach;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:108-121. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.