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Peer Quality and the Academic Benefits to Attending Better Schools

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Listed:
  • Mark Hoekstra
  • Pierre Mouganie
  • Yaojing Wang

Abstract

Despite strong demand for attending high schools with better peers, there is mixed evidence on whether doing so improves academic outcomes. We estimate the cognitive returns to high school quality by comparing the college entrance exam scores of students in China who were barely above and below high school admission thresholds. Results indicate that while peer quality improves significantly across all sets of admission cutoffs, the only increase in performance occurs from attending tier 1 high schools. Further evidence suggests the returns to high school quality are driven by teacher quality rather than peer quality or class size.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Hoekstra & Pierre Mouganie & Yaojing Wang, 2018. "Peer Quality and the Academic Benefits to Attending Better Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(4), pages 841-884.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/697465
    DOI: 10.1086/697465
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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