Olmo Silva

Department of Geography and Environment
London School of Economcs
Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK
Tel: 44 (0) 20 7955 6036

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: London School of Economcs

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2009The Good, the Bad and the Average: Evidence on the Scale and Nature of Ability Peer Effects in Schools
with Victor Lavy, Felix Weinhardt: w15600
In this paper, we study ability peer effects in secondary schools in England and identify which segments of the peer ability distribution drive the impact of peer quality on students‟ achievements. To do so, we use census data for four cohorts of pupils taking their age-14 national tests, and measure students‟ ability by their prior achievements at age-11. We employ a new identification strategy based on within-pupil regressions that exploit variation in achievements across the three compulsory subjects (English, Mathematics and Science) tested both at age-14 and age-11. We find significant and sizeable negative peer effects arising from bad peers at the very bottom of the ability distribution, but little evidence that average peer quality and very good peers significantly affect pupils‟ a...

Published: The Good, The Bad and The Average: Evidence on Ability Peer Effects in Schools (with Olmo Silva and Felix Weinhardt), Journal of Labor Economics, April 2012

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