IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7694.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Antecol, Heather

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Eren, Ozkan

    (University of California, Riverside)

  • Ozbeklik, Serkan

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

We examine the effect of peer achievement on students' own achievement and teacher performance in primary schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods using data from a well-executed randomized experiment in seven states. Contrary to the existing literature, we find that the average classroom peer achievement adversely influences own student achievement in math and reading in linear-in-means models. Extending our analysis to take into account the potential non-linearity in the peer effects leads to non-negligible differences along the achievement distribution. We test several models of peer effects to further understand their underlying mechanisms. While we find no evidence to support the monotonicity model and little evidence in favor of the ability grouping model, we find stronger evidence to support the frame of reference and the invidious comparison models. Moreover, we also find that higher achieving classes improve teaching performance in math. Finally, using a simple policy experiment we find suggestive evidence that tracking students by ability potentially benefits students who end up in a low achievement class while hurting students in a high achievement class.

Suggested Citation

  • Antecol, Heather & Eren, Ozkan & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2013. "Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7694, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7694
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp7694.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4, June.
    2. Jennifer Brown, 2011. "Quitters Never Win: The (Adverse) Incentive Effects of Competing with Superstars," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 982-1013.
    3. Sacerdote, Bruce, 2011. "Peer Effects in Education: How Might They Work, How Big Are They and How Much Do We Know Thus Far?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 4, pages 249-277, Elsevier.
    4. Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2001. "Urban Poverty and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679.
    5. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
    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. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2013. "Can higher-achieving peers explain the benefits to attending selective schools? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 63-77.
    9. 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.
    10. repec:mpr:mprres:6174 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Vilsa E. Curto & Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2014. "The Potential of Urban Boarding Schools for the Poor: Evidence from SEED," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 65-93.
    12. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2005. "Does school accountability lead to improved student performance?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 297-327.
    13. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Scott E. Carrell & Mark L. Hoekstra, 2010. "Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone's Kids," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 211-228, January.
    17. Thomas J. Kane & Eric S. Taylor & John H. Tyler & Amy L. Wooten, 2010. "Identifying Effective Classroom Practices Using Student Achievement Data," NBER Working Papers 15803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Michael Kremer & Dan Levy, 2008. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use among College Students," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 189-206, Summer.
    19. Jill Constantine & Daniel Player & Tim Silva & Kristin Hallgren & Mary Grider & John Deke, 2009. "An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1a9e2910a01843c2babbc8c64, Mathematica Policy Research.
    20. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2006. "What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1435-1454, September.
    21. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "Harming the best: How schools affect the black-white achievement gap," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(3), pages 366-393.
    22. 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.
    23. Paul T. Decker & Daniel P. Mayer & Steven Glazerman, "undated". "The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c8b5eb6d499c465c86a96bee4, Mathematica Policy Research.
    24. Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, June.
    25. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
    26. Sass, Tim R. & Hannaway, Jane & Xu, Zeyu & Figlio, David N. & Feng, Li, 2012. "Value added of teachers in high-poverty schools and lower poverty schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 104-122.
    27. Ammermüller, Andreas & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-027, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    28. 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.
    29. Carman, Katherine Grace & Zhang, Lei, 2012. "Classroom peer effects and academic achievement: Evidence from a Chinese middle school," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 223-237.
    30. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
    31. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    32. David S. Lyle, 2007. "Estimating and Interpreting Peer and Role Model Effects from Randomly Assigned Social Groups at West Point," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 289-299, May.
    33. Lefgren, Lars, 2004. "Educational peer effects and the Chicago public schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 169-191, September.
    34. David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
    35. Aaron Sojourner, 2013. "Identification of Peer Effects with Missing Peer Data: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(569), pages 574-605, June.
    36. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    37. Fangwen Lu & Michael L. Anderson, 2015. "Peer Effects in Microenvironments: The Benefits of Homogeneous Classroom Groups," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 91-122.
    38. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2009. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 34-68, October.
    39. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    40. Thomas J. Kane & Eric S. Taylor & John H. Tyler & Amy L. Wooten, 2011. "Identifying Effective Classroom Practices Using Student Achievement Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 587-613.
    41. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    42. repec:mpr:mprres:4150 is not listed on IDEAS
    43. Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2013. "Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1289-1324, June.
    44. Jill Constantine, 2009. "Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6e759a791c77408a816add035, Mathematica Policy Research.
    45. 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.
    46. Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2, June.
    47. repec:mpr:mprres:6175 is not listed on IDEAS
    48. repec:mpr:mprres:7338 is not listed on IDEAS
    49. Foster, Gigi, 2006. "It's not your peers, and it's not your friends: Some progress toward understanding the educational peer effect mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1455-1475, September.
    50. Scott A. Imberman & Adriana D. Kugler & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2012. "Katrina's Children: Evidence on the Structure of Peer Effects from Hurricane Evacuees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2048-2082, August.
    51. repec:mpr:mprres:4012 is not listed on IDEAS
    52. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    53. Sa A. Bui & Steven G. Craig & Scott A. Imberman, 2011. "Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Achievement," NBER Working Papers 17089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alexandra de Gendre & Krzysztof Karbownik & Nicolás Salamanca & Yves Zenou, 2024. "Integrating Minorities in the Classroom: The Role of Students, Parents, and Teachers," NBER Working Papers 32429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2020. "Les inégalités provinciales aux tests internationaux-nationaux de littéracie : Québec, Ontario et autres provinces canadiennes 1993-2018 [Provincial achievement gaps from literacy surveys condu," Working Papers 20-02, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management, revised Oct 2020.
    3. Kien Le & My Nguyen, 2019. "‘Bad Apple’ peer effects in elementary classrooms: the case of corporal punishment in the home," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(6), pages 557-572, November.
    4. Chris Ryan, 2017. "Measurement of Peer Effects," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 50(1), pages 121-129, March.
    5. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2020. "Les inégalités provinciales aux tests internationaux-nationaux de littéracie : Québec, Ontario et autres provinces canadiennes 1993-2018 (Version révisée et augmentée octobre 2020)," CIRANO Working Papers 2020s-29, CIRANO.
    6. 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.
    7. Ozkan Eren, 2016. "Differential Peer Effects, Student Achievement, and Student Absenteeism: Evidence from a Large Scale Randomized Experiment," Departmental Working Papers 2016-01, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    8. Thomas Ahn & Christopher Jepsen, 2015. "The effect of sharing a mother tongue with peers: evidence from North Carolina middle schools," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-21, December.
    9. Thiemann, Petra, 2017. "The Persistent Effects of Short-Term Peer Groups in Higher Education," IZA Discussion Papers 11024, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Yu, Han, 2020. "Am I the big fish? The effect of ordinal rank on student academic performance in middle school," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 18-41.
    11. Damm, Anna Piil & Mattana, Elena & Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Rouland, Benedicte, 2021. "Academic achievement and wellbeing of dual language learners: Evidence from a busing program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    12. Bin Huang & Rong Zhu, 2020. "Peer effects of low-ability students in the classroom: evidence from China’s middle schools," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1343-1380, October.
    13. Jana Gross & Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2017. "Class Size in Early Grades, Student Grit and Later School Outcomes," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0129, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Sep 2018.

    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. de Gendre, Alexandra & Salamanca, Nicolás, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 13938, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Zhang, Hongliang, 2016. "The role of testing noise in the estimation of achievement-based peer effects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 113-123.
    3. Berlinski, Samuel & Busso, Matias & Giannola, Michele, 2023. "Helping struggling students and benefiting all: Peer effects in primary education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 224(C).
    4. Vardardottir, Arna, 2013. "Peer effects and academic achievement: a regression discontinuity approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 108-121.
    5. 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.
    6. Stephen Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2016. "Peer Effects: Evidence from Secondary School Transition in England," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(4), pages 548-575, August.
    7. Ozkan Eren, 2016. "Differential Peer Effects, Student Achievement, and Student Absenteeism: Evidence from a Large Scale Randomized Experiment," Departmental Working Papers 2016-01, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    8. Lépine, Andrea & Estevan, Fernanda, 2021. "Do ability peer effects matter for academic and labor market outcomes?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    9. Murphy, Richard & Weinhardt, Felix, 2020. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 87(6), pages 2777-2826.
    10. Zhao, Liqiu & Zhao, Zhong, 2021. "Disruptive Peers in the Classroom and Students’ Academic Outcomes: Evidence and Mechanisms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Feng, Han & Li, Jiayao, 2016. "Head teachers, peer effects, and student achievement," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 268-283.
    14. Yu, Han, 2020. "Am I the big fish? The effect of ordinal rank on student academic performance in middle school," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 18-41.
    15. Li, Tao & Han, Li & Zhang, Linxiu & Rozelle, Scott, 2014. "Encouraging classroom peer interactions: Evidence from Chinese migrant schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 29-45.
    16. Coveney, Max & Oosterveen, Matthijs, 2021. "What drives ability peer effects?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    17. Steve Cicala & Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2011. "A Roy Model of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 16880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Matias Berthelon & Eric Bettinger & Diana I. Kruger & Alejandro Montecinos-Pearce, 2019. "The Structure of Peers: The Impact of Peer Networks on Academic Achievement," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 60(7), pages 931-959, November.
    19. Angela Granger-Serrano & Alexander Villarraga-Orjuela, 2021. "Peer Effects on First-Year University Students’ Results: The Role of Classmates’ Academic Performance and Socioeconomic Status," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(23), pages 1-26, December.
    20. Schiltz, Fritz & Mazrekaj, Deni & Horn, Daniel & De Witte, Kristof, 2019. "Does it matter when your smartest peers leave your class? Evidence from Hungary," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 79-91.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    random assignment; student achievement; peer effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of 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:dp7694. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.