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A Peer Like Me? Early Exposure to High Achievers in Math and Later Educational Outcomes

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Abstract

This paper investigates whether exposure to academically gifted peers of the same and opposite gender in primary school (grade 5, at age 10) affects later academic achievement (grade 8, at age 13) and high-school track choice. For identification we exploit random allocation of kids across classes within primary schools. We document that, conditional on primary school fixed effects and grade 8 class fixed effects, as well as on baseline achievement, a higher share of same/oppositegender high-achievers in math in primary school is related, both for boys and girls, to better/worse later math academic achievement in grade 8 and to a higher/lower probability of choosing a scientific high-school track. We argue that these results are consistent with a role model channel.

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  • Laura Pagani & Giovanni Pica, 2021. "A Peer Like Me? Early Exposure to High Achievers in Math and Later Educational Outcomes," CSEF Working Papers 619, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:619
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer effects; early education stage; gender-specific effects.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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