Can higher-achieving peers explain the benefits to attending selective schools? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago

Clement Kirabo Jackson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using exogenous secondary school assignments to remove self-selection bias to schools and peers within schools, I credibly estimate both (1) the effect of attending schools with higher-achieving peers, and (2) the direct effect of short-run peer quality improvements within schools, on the same population. While students at schools with higher-achieving peers have better academic achievement, within-school short-run increases in peer achievement improve outcomes only at high-achievement schools. Short-run (direct) peer quality accounts for only one tenth of school value-added on average, but at least one-third among the most selective schools. There are large and important differences by gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume108
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Fingerprint

Trinidad and Tobago
Peers
Short-run
Assignment
Direct effect
Self-selection bias
Quality improvement
Secondary school
Academic achievement
Value added

Keywords

  • Decomposition
  • Peer effects
  • School quality
  • School selectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

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AB - Using exogenous secondary school assignments to remove self-selection bias to schools and peers within schools, I credibly estimate both (1) the effect of attending schools with higher-achieving peers, and (2) the direct effect of short-run peer quality improvements within schools, on the same population. While students at schools with higher-achieving peers have better academic achievement, within-school short-run increases in peer achievement improve outcomes only at high-achievement schools. Short-run (direct) peer quality accounts for only one tenth of school value-added on average, but at least one-third among the most selective schools. There are large and important differences by gender.

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