NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Angela Cools

Cornell University

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Institutional Affiliation: Cornell University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2019Girls, Boys, and High Achievers
with Raquel Fernández, Eleonora Patacchini: w25763
This paper studies the effect of exposure to female and male “high-achievers” in high school on the long-run educational outcomes of their peers. Using data from a recent cohort of students in the United States, we identify a causal effect by exploiting quasi-random variation in the exposure of students to peers with highly educated parents across cohorts within a school. We find that greater exposure to “high-achieving” boys, as proxied by their parents' education, decreases the likelihood that girls go on to complete a bachelor's degree, substituting the latter with junior college degrees. It also affects negatively their math and science grades and, in the long term, decreases labor force participation and increases fertility. We explore possible mechanisms and find that greater exposur...
 
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