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College ChoicesThe Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay for It$
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Caroline M. Hoxby

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226355351

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226355375.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 November 2020

Peer Effects in Higher Education

Peer Effects in Higher Education

(p.395) 9 Peer Effects in Higher Education
College Choices

Gordon C. Winston

David J. Zimmerman

University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the importance of peer effects and offers new empirical evidence on their existence. Estimating peer effects is difficult. First, one must decide on the appropriate set of educational outcomes believed to be sensitive to peer attributes. Second, one must specify the relevant peer attributes. Third, and perhaps most difficult, one must contend with the fact that selection bias is rampant in the estimation of peer effects. The chapter uses a unique data set that combines data for three schools from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's College and Beyond data for the entering class of 1989, along with phonebook data identifying roommates, to implement a quasi-experimental empirical strategy aimed at measuring peer effects in academic outcomes. In particular, the chapter uses data on individual student's grades, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, and the SAT scores of their roommates to estimate the effect of roommates' academic characteristics on an individual's grades.

Keywords:   peer effects, educational outcomes, academic outcomes, roommates, Scholastic Aptitude Test, grades

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