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Do Peers Influence Achievement in High School Economics? Evidence from Georgia's Economics End of Course Test

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  • Christopher Clark
  • Benjamin Scafidi
  • John R. Swinton

Abstract

The authors provide the first estimates of the impact of peers on achievement in high school economics. The estimates are obtained by analyzing three years of data on all high school students who take Georgia's required economics course and its accompanying high-stakes End of Course Test (Georgia Department of Education). They use an instrumental variables approach with teacher-level fixed effects to control for selection bias, simultaneity, measurement error in the measure of peer quality, and nonrandom assignment of teachers to students. The authors find that an increase of one standard deviation in the prior academic achievement of peers increases achievement in economics by 0.03 standard deviation.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Clark & Benjamin Scafidi & John R. Swinton, 2011. "Do Peers Influence Achievement in High School Economics? Evidence from Georgia's Economics End of Course Test," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 3-18, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:42:y:2011:i:1:p:3-18 DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2011.536486
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Austin Nichols, 2007. "RD: Stata module for regression discontinuity estimation," Statistical Software Components S456888, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 30 Sep 2016.
    2. Ann L. Owen & Elizabeth J. Jensen, 2000. "Why Are Women Such Reluctant Economists? Evidence from Liberal Arts Colleges," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 466-470.
    3. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    4. Karen E. Dynan & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1997. "The Underrepresentation of Women in Economics: A Study of Undergraduate Economics Students," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 350-368, December.
    5. Charles Ballard & Marianne Johnson, 2005. "Gender, Expectations, And Grades In Introductory Microeconomics At A Us University," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 95-122.
    6. Kevin N. Rask & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 2002. "Are Faculty Role Models? Evidence from Major Choice in an Undergraduate Institution," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 99-124, June.
    7. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 507-541, December.
    8. John F. Chizmar, 2000. "A Discrete-Time Hazard Analysis of the Role of Gender in Persistence in the Economics Major," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 107-118, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. William Bosshardt & Peter E. Kennedy, 2011. "Data Resources and Econometric Techniques," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 35 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Robert G. Valletta & K. Jody Hoff & Jane S. Lopus, 2014. "Lost In Translation? Teacher Training And Outcomes In High School Economics Classes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 695-709, October.

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