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Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and Their Peers

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  • David N. Figlio

    (Department of Economics, University of Florida and NBER)

Abstract

This article proposes an unusual identification strategy to estimate the effects of disruptive students on peer behavior and academic outcomes. Because boys with names most commonly given to girls may be more prone to misbehavior as they get older, they may become differentially disruptive in school. In elementary school there is no relationship between names and boys' behavior, but on transition to middle school, a large gap emerges in behavior between boys with names associated with girls and other boys. Using boys' names as an instrumental variable, I utilize data on names, classroom assignment, behavior problems, and student test scores from a large Florida school district in the school years spanning 1996–97 through 1999–2000 to directly measure the effects of classroom disruption on peer performance. I find that behavior problems are associated with increased peer disciplinary problems and reduced peer test scores, indicating that disruptive behavior of students has negative ramifications for their peers. © 2007 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • David N. Figlio, 2007. "Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and Their Peers," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 376-394, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:2:y:2007:i:4:p:376-394
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," NBER Working Papers 9263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    disruptive students; peer behavior; behavior problems; peer performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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