NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?

Weili Ding, Steven F. Lehrer

NBER Working Paper No. 12305
Issued in June 2006
NBER Program(s):   ED

Peer effects have figured prominently in debates on school vouchers, desegregation, ability tracking and anti-poverty programs. Compelling evidence of their existence remains scarce for plaguing endogeneity issues such as selection bias and the reflection problem. This paper firmly establishes a link between peer performance and student achievement, using a unique dataset from China. We find strong evidence that peer effects exist and operate in a positive and nonlinear manner; reducing the variation of peer performance increases achievement; and our semi-parametric estimates clarify the tradeoffs facing policymakers in exploiting positive peers effects to increase future achievement.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12305

Published: Weili Ding & Steven F Lehrer, 2007. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 300-312, 02.

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