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Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS

  • Ammermüller, Andreas
  • Pischke, Jörn-Steffen

We estimate peer effects for fourth graders in six European countries. The identification relies on variation across classes within schools. We argue that classes within primary schools are formed roughly randomly with respect to family background. Similar to previous studies, we find sizeable estimates of peer effects in standard OLS specifications. The size of the estimate is much reduced within schools. This could be explained either by selection into schools or by measurement error in the peer background variable. When we correct for measurement error we find within school estimates close to the original OLS estimates. Our results suggest that the peer effect is modestly large, measurement error is important in our survey data, and selection plays little role in biasing peer effects estimates. We find no significant evidence of non-linear peer effects.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5660.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5660
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  1. Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2005. "Peer Effects in Austrian Schools," CEPR Discussion Papers 5018, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Eric D. Gould & Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Does Immigration Affect the Long-Term Educational Outcomes of Natives? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1162, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael A. Boozer & Stephen E. Cacciola, 2001. "Inside the 'Black Box' of Project STAR: Estimation of Peer Effects Using Experimental Data," Working Papers 832, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Jacob M. Markman & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Does Peer Ability Affect Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 8502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
  9. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Kevin, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," IZA Discussion Papers 976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. McEwan, Patrick J., 2003. "Peer effects on student achievement: evidence from Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 131-141, April.
  11. Ammermüller, Andreas, 2005. "Educational Opportunities and the Role of Institutions," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Robert Mislevy, 1991. "Randomization-based inference about latent variables from complex samples," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 177-196, June.
  13. Steve Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2006. "Peer Effects and Pupil Attainment: Evidence from Secondary School Transition," CEE Discussion Papers 0063, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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