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Achievement Effects from New Peers: Who Matters to Whom?

Author

Listed:
  • Duncan McVicar

    (Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast)

  • Julie Moschion

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; EconomiX, University of Nanterre)

  • Chris Ryan

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper presents estimates of achievement-related peer effects on school pupils’ literacy using data from national test scores, across multiple literacy or language-related measures and student cohorts, for the population of public secondary school pupils in Years 7 and 9 (aged 12/13 and 14/15 years) in the Australian state of Victoria. Identification is achieved via individual fixed effects and by distinguishing between secondary school peers who attended the same primary school as the individual and those who did not. Estimates of peer effects are based on the new peers, whose primary school achievement could not have been affected by the individual. The results provide evidence for the existence of achievement-related peer effects, with small but positive and statistically significant effects from having higher achieving peers on average and from having a higher proportion of very high achieving peers (in the top 10% of the prior achievement distribution). We do not find a penalty from having ‘bad’ peers (from the bottom 10% of the prior achievement distribution). Further, it is low achievement individuals who benefit most from having high achievement peers.

Suggested Citation

  • Duncan McVicar & Julie Moschion & Chris Ryan, 2016. "Achievement Effects from New Peers: Who Matters to Whom?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n17, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2016n17
    as

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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2016n17.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer effects; school achievement; education; tracking;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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