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Heterogeneous Effects of High School Peers on Educational Outcomes

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  • Mendolia, Silvia

    (University of Torino)

  • 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. Alice Battiston & Sophie Hedges & Thomas Lazarowicz & Stefan Speckesser, 2020. "Peer Effects and Social Influence in Post-16 Educational Choice," CVER Research Papers 025, Centre for Vocational Education Research.
    2. Bervoets, Sebastian & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Intergenerational correlation and social interactions in education," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 13-30.
    3. Nikhil Jha, 2021. "No time for crime? The effect of compulsory engagement on youth crime," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(6), pages 1571-1597, December.
    4. Lordan, Grace & Lekfuangfu, Warn N., 2023. "Stephen versus Stephanie? Does Gender Matter for Peer-to-Peer Career Advice," IZA Discussion Papers 16161, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Mendolia, Silvia & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Walker, Ian, 2018. "The Effect of Religiosity on Adolescent Risky Behaviors," IZA Discussion Papers 11566, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Hayri Eren Suna & Mahmut Ozer & Sadri Sensoy & Bekir Siddik Gur & Selahattin Gelbal & Petek Aşkar, 2021. "Determinants of Academic Achievement in Turkey," Journal of Economy Culture and Society, Istanbul University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 64(64), pages 143-162, December.
    7. Andrés Barrios-Fernández, 2022. "Neighbors' Effects on University Enrollment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 30-60, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Gorman, Emma & Walker, Ian, 2021. "Heterogeneous effects of missing out on a place at a preferred secondary school in England," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    10. 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.
    11. Sophie Hedges & Stefan Speckesser, 2017. "Peer Effects and Social Influence in Post-16 Educational Choice," CVER Research Papers 008, Centre for Vocational Education Research.
    12. Andy Dickerson & Konstantina Maragkou & Steven McIntosh, 2018. "The causal effect of secondary school peers on educational aspirations," CVER Research Papers 017, Centre for Vocational Education Research.
    13. Mendolia Silvia & Paloyo Alfredo & Walker Ian, 2019. "Intrinsic Religiosity, Personality Traits, and Adolescent Risky Behaviors," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 1-16, July.

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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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