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Peer Group Effects on the Academic Performance of Italian Students

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  • De Paola, Maria
  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

Abstract

We analyse peer effects among students of a middle-sized Italian public university. We explain students’ average grade in exams passed during their Second Level Degree course on the basis of their pre-determined measures of abilities, personal characteristics and peer group abilities. Thanks to a rich administrative dataset, we are able to build a variety of definitions of peer groups, describing different kinds of students’ interaction, based on classes attended together or exams taken in the same session. Self-selection problems are handled through Two-Stage Least Squares estimations using as an instrument, the exogenous assigning of students to different teaching classes in the compulsory courses attended during their First Level Degree course. We find statistically significant positive peer group effects, which are robust to the different definitions of peer group and to different measures of abilities.

Suggested Citation

  • De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2009. "Peer Group Effects on the Academic Performance of Italian Students," MPRA Paper 18428, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18428
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Thomas & Rode, Johannes, 2020. "Classroom or pub - Where are persistent peer relationships between university students formed?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 474-493.
    2. Abdulmumini Baba Alfa & Abdulmumini Baba Alfa & Mohd Zaini Abd Karim, 2016. "Student Enthusiasm as a Key Determinant of their Performance," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 237-245.
    3. Androushchak, Gregory & Poldin, Oleg & Yudkevich, Maria, 2012. "Peer effects in exogenously formed student groups," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 26(2), pages 3-16.
    4. Luigi Benfratello & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2013. "Tracking in the Tracks Understanding Inequality Patterns in the Italian Public Schooling System," CHILD Working Papers Series 19, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    5. By Vincenzo Carrieri & Marcello D’Amato & Roberto Zotti, 2015. "On the causal effects of selective admission policies on students’ performances: evidence from a quasi-experiment in a large Italian university," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1034-1056.
    6. Antonio di Paolo & Alvaro Choi, 2014. "School Composition Effects in Spain: Accounting for Intercept and Slope Effects," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 210(3), pages 57-83, September.
    7. Valeeva, Dilyara & Poldin, Oleg & Yudkevich, Maria, 2014. "Student’s social ties and the choice of specialization," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 34(2), pages 80-94.
    8. F. Aleskerov & I. Frumin & E. Kardanova, 2016. "Heterogeneity of the educational system: an introduction to the problem," Papers 1701.07322, arXiv.org.
    9. Bigoni, Maria & Fort, Margherita & Nardotto, Mattia & Reggiani, Tommaso G., 2011. "Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition among University Students," IZA Discussion Papers 5844, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Louis N. Christofides & Michael Hoy & Joniada Milla & Thanasis Stengos, 2012. "The Implication of Peer and Parental Influences on University Attendance: A Gender Comparison," Working Papers 1201, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    11. M. Bigoni & M. Fort & M. Nardotto & T. Reggiani, 2011. "Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition in Academic Achievement," Working Papers wp752, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Antonio Di Paolo, 2010. "School Composition Effects in Spain," Working Papers XREAP2010-13, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Dec 2010.
    13. Berardino Cesi & Dimitri Paolini, 2014. "Peer Group and Distance: When Widening University Participation is Better," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82, pages 110-132, December.
    14. O. Poldin & D. Valeeva & M. Yudkevich, 2015. "Choice of specialization: do peers matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(44), pages 4728-4740, September.
    15. Oleg Poldin & Diliara Valeeva & Maria Yudkevich, 2016. "Which Peers Matter: How Social Ties Affect Peer-group Effects," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(4), pages 448-468, June.
    16. Luigi Benfratello & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2015. "Tracking in the Tracks in the Italian Schooling: Inequality Patterns in an Urban Context," Working papers 030, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    17. Lionel Perini, 2012. "Peer effects and school design: An analysis of efficiency and equity," IRENE Working Papers 12-01, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    18. Dan Levy & Mae Klinger & Theodore Svoronos, 2018. "Two-Stage Examinations: Can Examinations Be More Formative Experiences?," CID Working Papers 363, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    19. Ficano, Carlena Cochi, 2012. "Peer effects in college academic outcomes – Gender matters!," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1102-1115.
    20. Oleg V. Poldin & Tania P. Simoes & Marcelo Knobel & Maria M. Yudkevich, 2015. "Estimation of Peer Effects with Predicted Social Ties: Evidence from Two Universities in Brazil and Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 30/EDU/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    21. de Gendre, Alexandra & Salamanca, Nicolás, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 13938, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Gregory Androushchak & Oleg Poldin & Maria Yudkevich, 2012. "Peer Effects in Exogenously Formed University Student Groups," HSE Working papers WP BRP 03/EDU/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer effects; Student performance; Educational production function; instrumental variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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