IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Sorting and Statistical Discrimination in Schools: An Analysis Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health

  • Anil Nathan


    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

The rigorous economic analysis of peer group formation is a burgeoning subject. Much has been written about how peers in uence an individual's behavior, and these effects are quite prevalent. However, less has been written on how exactly these peer groups begin and the resulting consequences of their formation. A reason for the dearth of knowledge on peer group formation is the lack of quality data sets that clearly define one's peers. To resolve this issue, this paper explores data which allows a peer group to be defined openly through self nominations. Using these nominations as well as characteristics of the students and their friends, it is possible to see on what dimensions these individuals are sorting into friendships. The data suggests that there is heavy sorting within race and academic ability. Additionally, tests for statistical discrimination on race and academics show that it is exhibited towards blacks and Hispanics. There is also weak evidence of statistical discrimination against whites. Empirical analysis also shows that the degree of statistical discrimination decreases for blacks and Hispanics over a year; however, there is little change for whites over the same period. This result suggests a process of learning about a noisy signal on academic characteristics. Future work includes models describing the benefit of having various friends and the probability of forming those friendships, which can be used to simulate redistribution policies.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0905.

in new window

Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0905
Contact details of provider: Phone: (508)793-3362
Fax: (508) 793-3708
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd, 2007. "School choice, racial segregation, and test-score gaps: Evidence from North Carolina's charter school program*," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 31-56.
  3. David Marmaros & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "How Do Friendships Form?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 79-119, 02.
  4. Patrick Bayer & Hanming Fang & Robert McMillan, 2005. "Separate When Equal? Racial Inequality and Residential Segregation," NBER Working Papers 11507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Arcidiacono, Peter & Khan, Shakeeb & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2011. "Representation versus assimilation: How do preferences in college admissions affect social interactions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 1-15.
  6. William W. Gould & Jeffrey Pitblado & Brian Poi, 2010. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation with Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 4, number ml4, November.
  7. Dan Levy & Greg Duncan & Jacque Eccles & Johanne Boisjoly & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Empathy or antipathy? The impact of diversity," Natural Field Experiments 00220, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. 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.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  10. Peter Arcidiacono & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2010. "Does The River Spill Over? Estimating The Economic Returns To Attending A Racially Diverse College," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 537-557, 07.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0905. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.