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The value of a peer

Author

Listed:
  • Ingo E. Isphording
  • Ulf Zölitz

Abstract

This paper introduces peer value-added, a new approach to quantify the total contribution of an individual peer to student performance. Peer value-added captures social spillovers irrespective of whether they are generated by observable or unobservable peer characteristics. Using data with repeated random assignment to university sections, we find that students significantly differ in their peer value-added. Peer value-added is a good out-of-sample predictor of performance spillovers in newly assigned student-peer pairs. Yet, students’ own past performance and other observable characteristics are poor predictors of peer value-added. Peer value-added increases after exposure to better peers, and valuable peers are substitutes for low-quality teachers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingo E. Isphording & Ulf Zölitz, 2020. "The value of a peer," ECON - Working Papers 342, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:342
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp342.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Kevin Devereux, 2021. "Returns to Teamwork and Professional Networks: Evidence from Economic Research," Working Papers 202101, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Wennberg, Karl & Norgren, Axel, 2021. "Models of Peer Effects in Education," Working Papers 21/3, Stockholm School of Economics, Center for Educational Leadership and Excellence.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer effects; peer value-added; peer capital; spillovers;
    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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