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Disabled Peers and Academic Achievement


  • Jane Friesen

    () (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University)

  • Ross Hickey

    () (Department of Economics, University of British Columbia–Okanagan)

  • Brian Krauth

    () (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University)


We use data on students in grades 4–7 in the Canadian province of British Columbia to investigate the effect of having disabled peers on value-added exam outcomes. Longitudinal data for multiple cohorts of students are used together with school-by-grade-level fixed effects to account for endogenous selection into schools. Our estimates suggest that same-grade peers with learning and behavioral disabilities have an adverse effect on the test score gains of nondisabled students in British Columbia. However, these effects are statistically insignificant and are sufficiently small that they are unlikely to raise concerns about the placement of this group of disabled students. The effect of peers with other disabilities is also small and statistically insignificant but varies in sign. © 2010 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • Jane Friesen & Ross Hickey & Brian Krauth, 2010. "Disabled Peers and Academic Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 317-348, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:5:y:2010:i:3:p:317-348

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    2. Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Intergenerational Progress of Mexican-Origin Workers in the U.S. Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
    3. A. Gonzalez, 2000. "The acquisition and labor market value of four English skills: new evidence from NALS," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(3), pages 259-269, July.
    4. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Alexey Gorislavsky, 2007. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 761-783, November.
    5. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
    6. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2010. "Disabled or young? Relative age and special education diagnoses in schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 857-872, October.
    3. Iversen, Jon Marius Vaag & Bonesrønning, Hans, 2015. "Conditional gender peer effects?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 19-28.
    4. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:15-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Horoi, Irina & Ost, Ben, 2015. "Disruptive peers and the estimation of teacher value added," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 180-192.
    6. Deuchert, Eva & Kauer, Lukas & Liebert, Helge & Wuppermann, Carl, 2013. "No disabled student left behind? - Evidence from a social field experiment," Economics Working Paper Series 1336, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

    More about this item


    disabled students; academic achievement; British Columbia;

    JEL classification:

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


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