IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Arcidiacono, Peter & Nicholson, Sean, 2005. "Peer effects in medical school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 327-350, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:89:y:2005:i:2-3:p:327-350

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
    2. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N., 2001. "Interactions-based models," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 54, pages 3297-3380 Elsevier.
    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.
    4. 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.
    5. Frank A. Sloan, 1970. "Lifetime Earnings and Physicians' Choice of Specialty," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 24(1), pages 47-56, October.
    6. Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Physician Specialty Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 816-847, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
    11. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
    12. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
    13. 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.
    14. 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 966-991, October.
    15. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
    16. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
    17. Elizabeth M. Caucutt, 2001. "Peer group effects in applied general equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 17(1), pages 25-51.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


    Access and download statistics


    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:pubeco:v:89:y:2005:i:2-3:p:327-350. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.