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Inference on Peer Effects with Missing Peer Data: Evidence from Project STAR

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  • Aaron Sojourner

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Abstract

This paper studies peer effects on student achievement among first graders randomly assigned to classrooms in Tennessee's Project STAR. The analysis uses previously unexploited pre-assignment achievement measures available for 60 percent of students. Data are not missing at random, making identification challenging. The paper develops new ways, given random assignment of individuals to classes, to identify peer effects without imposing other missing-data assumptions. Estimates suggest positive effects of mean peer lagged achievement on average. Allowing heterogeneous effects, evidence suggests lower-achieving students benefit more than higher-achieving students do from increases in peer mean. Further, the bias in a widely used, poorly understood peer-effects estimator is analyzed, implying that caution is warranted in interpreting many peer-effects estimates extant in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron Sojourner, "undated". "Inference on Peer Effects with Missing Peer Data: Evidence from Project STAR," Working Papers 0109, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  • Handle: RePEc:hrr:papers:0109
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    File URL: http://www.legacy-irc.csom.umn.edu/RePEC/hrr/papers/0109.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Ammermüller, Andreas & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-027, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Edwin Leuven & Marte Rønning, 2016. "Classroom Grade Composition and Pupil Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 1164-1192, June.
    3. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
    4. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    5. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 315-348, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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