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Katrina's Children: Evidence on the Structure of Peer Effects from Hurricane Evacuees

  • Scott Imberman
  • Adriana D. Kugler
  • Bruce Sacerdote

In 2005, hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced many children to relocate across the Southeast. While schools quickly enrolled evacuees, receiving families worried about the impact of evacuees on non-evacuee students. Data from Houston and Louisiana show that, on average, the influx of evacuees moderately reduced elementary math test scores in Houston. We reject linear-in-means models of peer effects and find evidence of a highly non-linear but monotonic model - student achievement improves with high ability and worsens with low ability peers. Moreover, exposure to undisciplined evacuees increased native absenteeism and disciplinary problems, supporting a "bad apple" model in behavior.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15291.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Scott A. Imberman & Adriana D. Kugler & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2012. "Katrina's Children: Evidence on the Structure of Peer Effects from Hurricane Evacuees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2048-82, August.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15291
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jonathan Guryan, 2003. "Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements," NBER Working Papers 9545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working Papers 780, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. 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.
  10. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
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