Understanding peer effects - On the nature, estimation and channels of peer effects

J.F. Feld, U.N. Zölitz

Research output: Working paperProfessional

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Abstract

This paper estimates peer effects in a university context where students are randomly assigned to sections. While students benefit from better peers on average, low-achieving students are harmed by high-achieving peers. Analyzing students’ course evaluations suggests that peer effects are driven by improved group interaction rather than adjustments in teachers’ behavior or students’ effort. We further show, building on Angrist (2014), that classical measurement error in a setting where group assignment is systematic can lead to substantial overestimation of peer effects. With random assignment, as is the case in our setting, estimates are only attenuated.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda
Number002

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