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Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?

Author

Listed:
  • Weili Ding

    (School of Policy Studies and Department of Economics, Queen's University)

  • Steven F. Lehrer

    (School of Policy Studies and Department of Economics, Queen's University, and NBER)

Abstract

Peer effects have figured prominently in debates on school vouchers, desegregation, ability tracking, and antipoverty programs. Compelling evidence of their existence remains scarce for plaguing endogeneity issues such as selection bias and the reflection problem. This paper is among the first to firmly establish the link between peer performance and student achievement, using a unique data set from China. We find strong evidence that peer effects exist and operate in a positive and nonlinear manner; reducing the variation of peer performance increases achievement; and our semiparametric estimates clarify the trade-offs facing policymakers in exploiting positive peer effects to increase future achievement. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:2:p:300-312
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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