IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp13968.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

High-Ability Influencers? The Heterogeneous Effects of Gifted Classmates

Author

Listed:
  • Balestra, Simone

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Sallin, Aurélien

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    (University of Bern)

Abstract

This paper examines how exposure to students identified as gifted (IQ ≥ 130) affects achievement in secondary school, enrollment in post-compulsory education, and occupational choices. By using student-level administrative data on achievement combined with psychological examination records, we study the causal impact of gifted students on their classmates in unprecedented detail. We find a positive and significant effect of the exposure to gifted students on school achievement in both math and language. The impact of gifted students is, however, highly heterogeneous along three dimensions. First, we observe the strongest effects among male students and high achievers. Second, we show that male students benefit from the presence of gifted peers in all subjects regardless of their gender, whereas female students seem to benefit primarily from the presence of female gifted students. Third, we find that gifted students diagnosed with emotional or behavioral disorders have zero-to-negative effects on their classmates' performance, a detrimental effect more pronounced for female students. Finally, exposure to gifted students in school has consequences that extend beyond the classroom: it increases the likelihood of choosing a selective academic track as well as occupations in STEM fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Balestra, Simone & Sallin, Aurélien & Wolter, Stefan C., 2020. "High-Ability Influencers? The Heterogeneous Effects of Gifted Classmates," IZA Discussion Papers 13968, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13968
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp13968.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Karpinski, Ruth I. & Kinase Kolb, Audrey M. & Tetreault, Nicole A. & Borowski, Thomas B., 2018. "High intelligence: A risk factor for psychological and physiological overexcitabilities," Intelligence, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 8-23.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2013. "Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 119-153.
    3. Tatyana Avilova & Claudia Goldin, 2018. "What Can UWE Do for Economics?," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 186-190, May.
    4. Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2019. "Competitive Pressure Widens the Gender Gap in Performance: Evidence from a Two-stage Competition in Mathematics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(620), pages 1863-1893.
    5. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    6. Sa A. Bui & Steven G. Craig & Scott A. Imberman, 2014. "Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Students," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 30-62, August.
    7. Mary A. Burke & Tim R. Sass, 2013. "Classroom Peer Effects and Student Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 51-82.
    8. Glenn Ellison & Ashley Swanson, 2010. "The Gender Gap in Secondary School Mathematics at High Achievement Levels: Evidence from the American Mathematics Competitions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 109-128, Spring.
    9. Michela Carlana, 2019. "Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers’ Gender Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1163-1224.
    10. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2011. "Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-33, April.
    11. Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman & Analia Schlosser, 2012. "Inside the Black Box of Ability Peer Effects: Evidence from Variation in the Proportion of Low Achievers in the Classroom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 208-237, March.
    12. 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.
    13. Pierre Mouganie & Yaojing Wang, 2020. "High-Performing Peers and Female STEM Choices in School," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 805-841.
    14. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2014. "Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students?," NBER Working Papers 20453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I. & Rintala, Bryson & Wozny, Nathan, 2018. "The Effects of Professor Gender on the Post-Graduation Outcomes of Female Students," IZA Discussion Papers 11820, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Scott E. Carrell & Mark Hoekstra & Elira Kuka, 2018. "The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(11), pages 3377-3415, November.
    17. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
    18. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    19. 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.
    20. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    21. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    22. Louis-Philippe Morin, 2015. "Do Men and Women Respond Differently to Competition? Evidence from a Major Education Reform," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 443-491.
    23. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, July.
    24. Angela Cools & Raquel Fernandez & Eleonora Patacchini, 2019. "Girls, Boys, and High Achievers," Working Papers 2019-032, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    25. Massimo Anelli & Giovanni Peri, 2019. "The Effects of High School Peers’ Gender on College Major, College Performance and Income," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 553-602.
    26. Kasey Buckles, 2019. "Fixing the Leaky Pipeline: Strategies for Making Economics Work for Women at Every Stage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 43-60, Winter.
    27. Adam S. Booij & Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2017. "Ability Peer Effects in University: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 547-578.
    28. Vardardottir, Arna, 2015. "The impact of classroom peers in a streaming system," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 110-128.
    29. Angrist, Joshua D., 2014. "The perils of peer effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 98-108.
    30. Sule Alan & Seda Ertac & Ipek Mumcu, 2018. "Gender Stereotypes in the Classroom and Effects on Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 876-890, December.
    31. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    32. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    33. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 210-240, April.
    34. Thomas Buser & Noemi Peter & Stefan Wolter, 2017. "Gender, willingness to compete and career choices along the whole ability distribution," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0135, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    35. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Daniel Montolio & Pere A. Taberner, 2018. "Gender differences under test pressure and their impact on academic performance: a quasi-experimental design," Working Papers 2018/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    37. Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2010. "Geographic Variation in the Gender Differences in Test Scores," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 95-108, Spring.
    38. Perihan O. Saygin, 2020. "Gender bias in standardized tests: evidence from a centralized college admissions system," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 1037-1065, August.
    39. C. Kirabo Jackson & Rucker C. Johnson & Claudia Persico, 2016. "The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 157-218.
    40. Victor Lavy & Analía Schlosser, 2011. "Corrigendum: Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 268-268, July.
    41. Catherine Porter & Danila Serra, 2020. "Gender Differences in the Choice of Major: The Importance of Female Role Models," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 226-254, July.
    42. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2012. "The Good, the Bad, and the Average: Evidence on Ability Peer Effects in Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 367-414.
    43. Beatrix Eugster & Raphaël Parchet, 2019. "Culture and Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 296-337.
    44. Booij, Adam S. & Haan, Ferry & Plug, Erik, 2016. "Enriching Students Pays Off: Evidence from an Individualized Gifted and Talented Program in Secondary Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9757, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Coveney, Max & Oosterveen, Matthijs, 2021. "What drives ability peer effects?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    2. de Gendre, Alexandra & Salamanca, Nicolás, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 13938, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Delaney, Judith & Devereux, Paul J., 2021. "Gender and Educational Achievement: Stylized Facts and Causal Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 15753, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Zhao, Liqiu & Zhao, Zhong, 2021. "Disruptive Peers in the Classroom and Students’ Academic Outcomes: Evidence and Mechanisms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    5. Lépine, Andrea & Estevan, Fernanda, 2021. "Do ability peer effects matter for academic and labor market outcomes?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    6. Feng, Han & Li, Jiayao, 2016. "Head teachers, peer effects, and student achievement," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 268-283.
    7. Borbely, Daniel & Norris, Jonathan & Romiti, Agnese, 2021. "Peer Gender and Schooling: Evidence from Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 14439, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Adam S. Booij & Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2017. "Ability Peer Effects in University: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 547-578.
    9. Silvia Mendolia & Alfredo R Paloyo & Ian Walker, 2018. "Heterogeneous effects of high school peers on educational outcomes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 613-634.
    10. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2020. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(6), pages 2777-2826.
    11. Auestad, May Linn, 2018. "The effect of low-achieving peers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 178-214.
    12. Dinarte Diaz,Lelys Ileana, 2020. "Peer Effects on Violence : Experimental Evidence from El Salvador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9187, The World Bank.
    13. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2018. "Do migrant students affect local students’ academic achievements in urban China?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 64-77.
    14. Ozkan Eren, 2017. "Differential Peer Effects, Student Achievement, and Student Absenteeism: Evidence From a Large-Scale Randomized Experiment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(2), pages 745-773, April.
    15. Claudia Olivetti & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2020. "Mothers, Peers, and Gender-Role Identity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 266-301.
    16. Abramitzky, Ran & Lavy, Victor & Pérez, Santiago, 2021. "The long-term spillover effects of changes in the return to schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    17. Dustmann, Christian & Ku, Hyejin & Kwak, Do Won, 2018. "Why Are Single-Sex Schools Successful?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 79-99.
    18. Doris, Aedín & O’Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2013. "Gender, single-sex schooling and maths achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 104-119.
    19. Cools, Angela & Fernández, Raquel & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2019. "Girls, Boys, and High Achievers," CEPR Discussion Papers 13754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Griffith, Amanda L. & Main, Joyce B., 2019. "First impressions in the classroom: How do class characteristics affect student grades and majors?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 125-137.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gifted students; peer quality; gender; math; peer effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13968. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.