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Peer effects and measurement error: the impact of sampling variation in school survey data

  • John Micklewright

    ()

    (Depatment of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.)

  • Sylke V. Schnepf

    ()

    (School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.)

  • Pedro N. Silva

    ()

    (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica and Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, University of Southampton.)

Investigation of peer effects on achievement with sample survey data on schools may mean that only a random sample of peers is observed for each individual. This generates classical measurement error in peer variables, resulting in the estimated peer group effects in a regression model being biased towards zero under OLS model fitting. We investigate the problem using survey data for England from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) linked to administrative microdata recording information for each PISA sample member's entire year cohort. We calculate a peer group measure based on these complete data and compare its use with a variable based on peers in just the PISA sample. The estimated attenuation bias in peer effect estimates based on the PISA data alone is substantial.

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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 10-13.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1013
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
Phone: (44) (0)20 7612 6654. Eliminate (44) and add (0) if calling from inside the UK. Add (44) and eliminate (0) if calling from abroad.
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Web page: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/departments/qss/35445.html

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  1. Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2005. "Peer Effects in Austrian Schools," Economics Series 170, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  2. Schütz, Gabriela & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," IZA Discussion Papers 1906, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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