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Can we select the right peers in Indian Education? Evidence from Kolkata

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Listed:
  • Paul Frijters
  • Asadul Islam
  • Debayan Pakrashi

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of random dormitory assignment in a tertiary level educational institution in India on students’ subsequent academic achievements. The effects of peer ability are around one-third as high as that of own ability, and strongly non-linear. We find that students from non-urban and non-English backgrounds do particularly better when assigned to higher-ability peers. Via policy simulations, we find that assortative matching maximises average grades and leads to higher grades than random matching for each group except for the most disadvantaged group (the backward social classes). We also examine channels and mechanisms through which peer effects work in our context.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Frijters & Asadul Islam & Debayan Pakrashi, 2016. "Can we select the right peers in Indian Education? Evidence from Kolkata," Monash Economics Working Papers 39-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2016-39
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    File URL: https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/926211/3916selectfrijtersislampakrashi.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    peer effects; social class; ability; education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development

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