IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sfu/sfudps/dp17-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Do Peers Impact Learning? An Experimental Investigation of Peer-to-Peer Teaching and Ability Tracking

Author

Listed:

Abstract

Classroom peers are believed to influence learning by teaching each other, and the efficacy of this teaching likely depends on classroom composition in terms of peers’ ability. Unfortunately, little is known about peer-to-peer teaching because it is never observed in field studies. Furthermore, identifying how peer-to-peer teaching is affected by ability tracking—grouping students of similar ability—is complicated by the fact that tracking is typically accompanied by changes in curriculum and the instructional behavior of teachers. To fill this gap, we conduct a laboratory experiment in which subjects learn to solve logic problems and examine both the importance of peer-to-peer teaching and the interaction between peer-to-peer teaching and ability tracking. While peer-to-peer teaching improves learning among low-ability subjects, the positive effects are substantially offset by tracking. Tracking reduces the frequency of peer-to-peer teaching, suggesting that low-ability subjects suffer from the absence of high-ability peers to teach them.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik O. Kimbrough & Andrew D. McGee & Hitoshi Shigeoka, 2017. "How Do Peers Impact Learning? An Experimental Investigation of Peer-to-Peer Teaching and Ability Tracking," Discussion Papers dp17-08, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  • Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp17-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sfu.ca/econ-research/RePEc/sfu/sfudps/dp17-08.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 315-348, July.
    2. Benjamin Elsner & Ingo E. Isphording, 2017. "A Big Fish in a Small Pond: Ability Rank and Human Capital Investment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 787-828.
    3. Cummins, Joseph R., 2017. "Heterogeneous treatment effects in the low track: Revisiting the Kenyan primary school experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 40-51.
    4. 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.
    5. Charness, Gary & Cooper, David & Grossman, Zachary, 2015. "Silence is Golden: Communication Costs and Team Problem Solving," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3n25b620, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    6. Jan Feld & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation, and Channels of Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 387-428.
    7. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
    8. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    9. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, July.
    10. Bhattacharya, Debopam, 2009. "Inferring Optimal Peer Assignment From Experimental Data," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 104(486), pages 486-500.
    11. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Franke, Jörg & Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2013. "The incentive effects of affirmative action in a real-effort tournament," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 15-31.
    12. Jan Feld & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation, and Channels of Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 387-428.
    13. Scott E. Carrell & Bruce I. Sacerdote & James E. West, 2013. "From Natural Variation to Optimal Policy? The Importance of Endogenous Peer Group Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 855-882, May.
    14. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Mareike Nossol, 2011. "Tournaments Without Prizes: Evidence from Personnel Records," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(10), pages 1721-1736, October.
    15. Andreoni, James & Brownback, Andy, 2017. "All pay auctions and group size: Grading on a curve and other applications," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 361-373.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. João Firmino, 2018. "Class composition effects and school welfare: evidence from Portugal using panel data," Working Papers 2018/14, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. 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.
    3. Cooper, David J. & Saral, Krista & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Why Join a Team?," IZA Discussion Papers 12587, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
      • David J. Cooper & Krista Saral & Marie Claire Villeval, 2021. "Why Join a Team?," Post-Print halshs-03003653, HAL.
      • David Cooper & Krista Saral & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Why Join a Team?," Working Papers halshs-02295921, HAL.
      • David J. Cooper & Krista Saral & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Why Join a Team?," Working Papers 1928, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    4. McVicar, Duncan & Moschion, Julie & Ryan, Chris, 2018. "Achievement effects from new peers: Who matters to whom?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 154-166.
    5. Agurto Adrianzén, Marcos & Fiestas Chevez, Hugo & Nuñez Morales, Wenceslao & Quevedo, Valeria & Vegas Chiyón, Susana, 2019. "Study-group diversity and early college academic outcomes: Experimental evidence from a higher education inclusion program in Peru," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 131-146.
    6. Kiessling, Lukas & Radbruch, Jonas & Schaube, Sebastian, 2018. "The Impact of Self-Selection on Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 11365, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Sandro Ambuehl & B. Douglas Bernheim & Fulya Ersoy & Donna Harris, 2018. "Peer Advice on Financial Decisions: A case of the blind leading the blind?," NBER Working Papers 25034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. de Gendre, Alexandra & Salamanca, Nicolás, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 13938, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Loviglio, Annalisa, 2019. "Grading on a curve: When having good peers is not good," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    3. Bin Huang & Rong Zhu, 2020. "Peer effects of low-ability students in the classroom: evidence from China’s middle schools," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1343-1380, October.
    4. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2018. "Do migrant students affect local students’ academic achievements in urban China?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 64-77.
    5. Bart H.H. Golsteyn & Arjan Non & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "The impact of peer personality on academic achievement," ECON - Working Papers 269, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. Adam S. Booij & Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2017. "Ability Peer Effects in University: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 547-578.
    7. Silvia Mendolia & Alfredo R Paloyo & Ian Walker, 2018. "Heterogeneous effects of high school peers on educational outcomes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 613-634.
    8. Bernhard C. Dannemann, 2020. "Peer Effects in Secondary Education: Evidence from the 2015 Trends in Mathematics and Science Study Based on Homophily," Working Papers V-428-20, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2020.
    9. Jan Feld & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation, and Channels of Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 387-428.
    10. Denning, Jeffrey T. & Murphy, Richard & Weinhardt, Felix, 2018. "Class Rank and Long-Run Outcomes," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 118, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    11. Simone Balestra & Aurelien Sallin & Stefan C. Wolter, 2020. "High-Ability Influencers? The Heterogeneous Effects of Gifted Classmates," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0170, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    12. Bertoni, Marco & Nistico, Roberto, 2019. "Ordinal Rank and Peer Composition: Two Sides of the Same Coin?," IZA Discussion Papers 12789, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Caterina Calsamiglia & Annalisa Loviglio, 2017. "Grading on a Curve: When Having Good Peers is not Good," Working Papers wp2018_1704, CEMFI.
    14. Barrios-Fernandez, Andres, 2019. "Should I stay of should I go? Neighbors' effects on university enrollment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103426, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. 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.
    16. Antecol, Heather & Eren, Ozkan & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2013. "Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7694, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2014. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," CESifo Working Paper Series 4815, CESifo.
    18. Benjamin Elsner & Ingo E. Isphording, 2017. "A Big Fish in a Small Pond: Ability Rank and Human Capital Investment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 787-828.
    19. Ribas, Rafael P. & Sampaio, Breno & Trevisan, Giuseppe, 2020. "Short- and long-term effects of class assignment: Evidence from a flagship university in Brazil," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    20. Elsner, Benjamin & Isphording, Ingo, 2015. "Big Fishes in Small Ponds: Ability Rank and Human Capital Investment," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112928, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer-to-peer Teaching; Ability Tracking; Peer Effects; Group Composition; Education and Inequality; Laboratory Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp17-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Working Paper Coordinator). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/desfuca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.