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Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement

  • Scott E. Carrell
  • Richard L. Fullerton
  • James E. West

We estimate peer effects in college achievement using a data set in which individuals are exogenously assigned to peer groups of about 30 students with whom they are required to spend the majority of their time interacting. This feature enables us to estimate peer effects that are more comparable to changing the entire cohort of peers. Using this broad peer group, we measure academic peer effects of much larger magnitude than found in previous studies. The effects persist at a diminished rate into follow-on years, and we find evidence of nonlinearities in the magnitude of the effects across student academic ability. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 439-464

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:27:y:2009:i:3:p:439-464
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  1. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
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  10. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2006. "What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1435-1454, September.
  11. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
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  15. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," NBER Working Papers 9876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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