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

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  • Scott Imberman
  • Adriana D. Kugler
  • Bruce Sacerdote

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Imberman & Adriana D. Kugler & Bruce Sacerdote, 2009. "Katrina's Children: Evidence on the Structure of Peer Effects from Hurricane Evacuees," NBER Working Papers 15291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15291
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    8. Scott E. Carrell & Mark L. Hoekstra, 2010. "Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone's Kids," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 211-228, January.
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    10. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Anna Aizer, 2008. "Peer Effects and Human Capital Accumulation: the Externalities of ADD," NBER Working Papers 14354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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