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Do Friends Improve Female Education? The Case of Bangladesh

Listed author(s):
  • Hahn, Youjin
  • Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz
  • Islam, Asadul
  • Patacchini, Eleonora
  • Zenou, Yves

We randomly assign more than 6,000 students to work on math tests in one of three settings: individually, in groups with random mates, or in groups with friends. The groups consist of four people and are balanced by average cognitive ability and ability distribution. While the achievement of male students is not affected by the group assignment, low-ability females assigned to groups outperform low-ability females working individually. The treatment is particularly effective when low-ability females study with friends. To rule out sorting effects, we show that random groups with identical composition to that of friendship groups do not produce similar effects. Our study thus documents that there are teaching practices where mixing students by ability may improve learning, especially for low-ability female students.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 11615.

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Date of creation: Nov 2016
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11615
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  1. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  2. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Hessami, Zohal & Fischbacher, Urs & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2015. "Academic performance and single-sex schooling: Evidence from a natural experiment in Switzerland," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 123-143.
  3. Alejandro J. Ganimian & Richard J. Murnane, 2014. "Improving Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: Lessons from Rigorous Impact Evaluations," NBER Working Papers 20284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Prashant Bharadwaj & Giacomo de Giorgi & David Hansen & CHRISTOPHER NEILSON, 2012. "The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Evidence from Low-and-Middle Income Countries," Working Papers id:5155, eSocialSciences.
  5. Jan Feld & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation, and Channels of Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 387-428.
  6. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:321-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Karthik Muralidharan & Ketki Sheth, 2016. "Bridging Education Gender Gaps in Developing Countries: The Role of Female Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 269-297.
  8. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers & Yves Zenou, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Social-Network Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 49-95, March.
  9. Bharadwaj, Prashant & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Hansen, David & Neilson, Christopher, 2015. "The gender gap in mathematics: evidence from a middle-income country," Staff Reports 721, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Scott E. Carrell & Bruce I. Sacerdote & James E. West, 2013. "From Natural Variation to Optimal Policy? The Importance of Endogenous Peer Group Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 855-882, May.
  11. Youjin Hahn & Asadul Islam & Kanti Nuzhat & Russell Smyth & Hee-Seung Yang, 2015. "Education, Marriage and Fertility: Long-Term Evidence from a Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh," Monash Economics Working Papers 30-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  12. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, January.
  13. Dana Burde & Leigh L. Linden, 2013. "Bringing Education to Afghan Girls: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Village-Based Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 27-40, July.
  14. Karthik Muralidharan & Nishith Prakash, 2017. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 321-350, July.
  15. Philip Babcock & Kelly Bedard & Gary Charness & John Hartman & Heather Royer, 2015. "Letting Down The Team? Social Effects Of Team Incentives," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(5), pages 841-870, October.
  16. Prashant Bharadwaj & Giacomo De Giorgi & David Hansen & Christopher A. Neilson, 2016. "The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Evidence from Chile," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(1), pages 141-166.
  17. -, 2016. "40 years of the regional gender agenda," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 40334 edited by Eclac, January.
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