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Class Assignment and Peer Group Effects: Evidence from Brazilian Primary Schools

  • Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner


Students in Brazil are typically assigned to classes based on their age ranking in their school grade. I exploit this rule to estimate the effects on maths achievement of being in a class with older peers for students in fifth grade of primary school. Because grade repetition is widespread in Brazil, the distribution of age is skewed to the right and hence age heterogeneity is typically higher in older classes. I provide evidence that heterogeneity in age is the driving factor behind the large negative estimated effect of being in an older class. Information on teaching practices and student behaviour sheds light on how class heterogeneity harms learning.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12/03.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:12/03
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics University of Leicester, University Road. Leicester. LE1 7RH. UK
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  1. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," NBER Working Papers 12180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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 1739-74, August.
  3. Mark L. Hoekstra & Scott Carrell, 2008. "Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone," Working Papers 343, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2008.
  4. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 417-458.
  5. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:1:p:105-147 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Elizabeth Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," NBER Working Papers 13663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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