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Peer effects in medical school

  • Arcidiacono, Peter
  • Nicholson, Sean

Using data on the universe of students who graduated from U.S. medical schools between 1996 and 1998, we examine whether the abilities and specialty preferences of a medical school class affect a student's academic achievement in medical school and his choice of specialty. We mitigate the selection problem by including school-specific fixed effects, and show that this method yields an upper bound on peer effects for our data. We estimate positive peer effects that disappear when school-specific fixed effects are added to control for the endogeneity of a peer group. We find no evidence that peer effects are stronger for blacks, that peer groups are formed along racial lines, or that students with relatively low ability benefit more from their peers than students with relatively high ability. However, we do find some evidence that peer groups form along gender lines.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (February)
Pages: 327-350

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:89:y:2005:i:2-3:p:327-350
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
  2. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
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  9. 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.
  10. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4bafb729911e486baf90b34c9, Mathematica Policy Research.
  11. Frank A. Sloan, 1970. "Lifetime earnings and physicians' choice of specialty," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 24(1), pages 47-56, October.
  12. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  13. Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Physician Specialty Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 816-847, October.
  14. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Elizabeth M. Caucutt, 2001. "Peer group effects in applied general equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 25-51.
  16. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
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