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Peer heterogeneity, school tracking and students' performances: evidence from PISA 2006

  • Michele Raitano
  • Francesco Vona

This paper analyses the interaction between school-tracking policies and peer effects in OECD countries. Using the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 data set, we show that linear peer effects are slightly concave-shaped in both early-tracking and comprehensive educational systems, but generally stronger in the early-tracking one. Second, and more interestingly, the effect of peer heterogeneity goes in opposite directions in the two systems. In both student- and school-level estimates, peer heterogeneity reduces students' achievements in the comprehensive system while it has a positive impact in the early-tracking one. This reversal effect is robust to different definitions of early-tracking system, to the inclusion of pseudo-school fixed effects and to the exclusion of outlier countries. Finally, peer effects are stronger for low-ability students in both groups of countries.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00036846.2013.791020
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 32 (November)
Pages: 4516-4532

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:45:y:2013:i:32:p:4516-4532
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  1. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
  9. Ammermüller, Andreas & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," CEPR Discussion Papers 5660, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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.
  11. Entorf, Horst & Lauk, Martina, 2006. "Peer Effects, Social Multipliers and Migrants at School: An International Comparison," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 36777, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
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