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Heterogeneous Effects of High School Peers on Educational Outcomes

Author

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  • Mendolia, Silvia

    () (University of Wollongong)

  • Paloyo, Alfredo R.

    () (University of Wollongong)

  • Walker, Ian

    () (Lancaster University)

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between peers' abilities and educational outcomes at the end of high school using data from the rich Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) matched to the National Pupil Database of children in state schools in England. In particular, we focus on the effect of peers' abilities, measured through achievements in Key Stage 3 (Age 14), on high powered test scores at Ages 16 and 18, and on the probability of attending university. Our identification strategy is based on a measure of the peers of peers' ability. In particular, for each individual, we look at her high school peers and select their primary school peers who do not attend the same high school and who did not attend the same primary school as the individual. We then use peers-of-peers ability, measured using Age 11 test scores as an instrument for high school average peer ability, measured using Age 14 test scores. We also use quantile regression to explore the effect of peers' ability on different parts of the distributions of the outcomes. Our results show that average of peers' abilities has a moderate positive effect on test scores at Ages 16 and 18, and that being in a school with a large proportion of low-quality peers can have a significantly detrimental effect on individual achievements. Furthermore, peers' ability seems to have a stronger effect on students at the bottom of the grade distribution, especially at Age 16.

Suggested Citation

  • Mendolia, Silvia & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Walker, Ian, 2016. "Heterogeneous Effects of High School Peers on Educational Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 9795, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9795
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    Cited by:

    1. Bervoets, Sebastian & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Intergenerational correlation and social interactions in education," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 13-30.
    2. Barrios-Fernandez, Andres, 2019. "Should I stay of should I go? Neighbors' effects on university enrollment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103426, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. McVicar, Duncan & Moschion, Julie & Ryan, Chris, 2018. "Achievement effects from new peers: Who matters to whom?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 154-166.
    4. Gorman, Emma & Walker, Ian, 2020. "Heterogeneous Effects of Missing out on a Place at a Preferred Secondary School in England," IZA Discussion Papers 13167, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Mendolia, Silvia & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Walker, Ian, 2018. "The effect of religiosity on adolescent risky behaviors," Ruhr Economic Papers 755, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. repec:cep:cverdp:025 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:cep:cverdp:017 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Stefan Speckesser & Sophie Hedges, 2017. "Peer Effects and Social Influence in Post-16 Educational Choice," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 483, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    9. repec:cep:cverdp:008 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    test scores; instrumental variables; peer effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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