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Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and their Peers

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  • David N. Figlio

Abstract

This paper proposes an unusual identification strategy to estimate the effects of disruptive students on peer behavior and academic outcomes. I suggest that boys with names most commonly given to girls may be more prone to misbehavior as they get older. This paper utilizes data on names, classroom assignment, behavior problems and student test scores from a large Florida school district in the school years spanning 1996-97 through 1999-2000 to directly study the relationship between behavior and peer outcomes. I find that boys with female-sounding names tend to misbehave disproportionately upon entry to middle school, as compared to other boys and to their previous (relative) behavior patterns. In addition, I find that behavior problems, instrumented with the distribution of boys' names in the class, are associated with increased peer disciplinary problems and reduced peer test scores, indicating that disruptive behavior of students has negative ramifications for their peers.

Suggested Citation

  • David N. Figlio, 2005. "Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and their Peers," NBER Working Papers 11277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11277
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    1. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 349-383, July.
    2. 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.
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    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," NBER Working Papers 9263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    6. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-991, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chin, Aimee & Daysal, N. Meltem & Imberman, Scott A., 2013. "Impact of bilingual education programs on limited English proficient students and their peers: Regression discontinuity evidence from Texas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 63-78.
    2. Kristoffersen, Jannie Helene Grøne & Krægpøth, Morten Visby & Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Simonsen, Marianne, 2015. "Disruptive school peers and student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-13.
    3. Anderson, D. Mark & Hansen, Benjamin & Walker, Mary Beth, 2013. "The minimum dropout age and student victimization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 66-74.
    4. 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.
    5. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    6. Randall Reback, 2010. "Schools' mental health services and young children's emotions, behavior, and learning," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 698-725.
    7. Howard, Larry L., 2011. "Does food insecurity at home affect non-cognitive performance at school? A longitudinal analysis of elementary student classroom behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 157-176, February.
    8. Imberman, Scott A., 2011. "The effect of charter schools on achievement and behavior of public school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 850-863, August.
    9. Richardson, J.T., 2015. "Accountability incentives and academic achievement: Distributional impacts of accountability when standards are set low," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-16.
    10. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Peers at Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 112-145, March.
    11. Iversen, Jon Marius Vaag & Bonesrønning, Hans, 2015. "Conditional gender peer effects?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 19-28.
    12. Ahn, Tom & Trogdon, Justin G., 2017. "Peer delinquency and student achievement in middle school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 192-217.
    13. Koch, Alexander & Nafziger, Julia & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2015. "Behavioral economics of education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 3-17.
    14. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:15-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Gentile, Elisabetta & Imberman, Scott A., 2012. "Dressed for success? The effect of school uniforms on student achievement and behavior," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-17.
    17. Godlonton, Susan & Thornton, Rebecca, 2012. "Peer effects in learning HIV results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 118-129.
    18. Severnini, Edson & Firpo, Sergio Pinheiro, 2010. "The relationship between school violence and student proficiency," Textos para discussão 236, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    19. Ozkan Eren & Daniel Millimet, 2007. "Time to learn? The organizational structure of schools and student achievement," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 301-332, May.
    20. Cicala, Steve & Fryer, Roland G. & Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2011. "A Roy Model of Social Interactions," MPRA Paper 29150, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Alexis Le Chapelain, 2014. "Market for Education and Student Achievement," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1jgbspo1909, Sciences Po.
    22. Horoi, Irina & Ost, Ben, 2015. "Disruptive peers and the estimation of teacher value added," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 180-192.

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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