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Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?

  • Weili Ding

    ()

    (Queen's University)

  • Steven Lehrer

    ()

    (Queen's University)

Peer effects have figured prominently in debates on school vouchers, desegregation, ability tracking and anti-poverty programs. Compelling evidence of their existence remains scarce for plaguing endogeneity issues such as selection bias and the reflection problem. This paper is among the first to firmly establish the link between peer performance and student achievement, using a unique dataset from China. We find strong evidence that peer effects exist and operate in a positive and nonlinear manner; reducing the variation of peer performance increases achievement; and our semi-parametric estimates clarify the tradeoffs facing policymakers in exploiting positive peers effects to increase future achievement.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1047.pdf
File Function: First version 2005
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Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1047.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in The Review of Economics and Statistics
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1047
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Web page: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/
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  1. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
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  5. Rivkin, Steven G., 2001. "Tiebout sorting, aggregation and the estimation of peer group effects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 201-209, June.
  6. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2004. "Disruption versus Tiebout improvement: the costs and benefits of switching schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1721-1746, August.
  7. Gordon Winston & David Zimmerman, 2004. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 395-424 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Eric A. Hanushek, . "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," Wallis Working Papers WP3, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  9. Kremer, Michael R, 1995. "Research on Schooling: What We Know and What We Don't: A Comment," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 247-54, August.
  10. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  11. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
  12. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1997. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 5888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  17. Glewwe, Paul, 1997. "Estimating the impact of peer group effects on socioeconomic outcomes: Does the distribution of peer group characteristics matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 39-43, February.
  18. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," NBER Working Papers 9876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  20. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
  21. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  22. Michael Kremer Dan Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 982bbc077a184604b00ef40ab, Mathematica Policy Research.
  23. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  24. 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.
  25. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
  26. 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 966-91, October.
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