Katrina's Children: Evidence on the Structure of Peer Effects from Hurricane Evacuees

55 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2009 Last revised: 2 Oct 2009

See all articles by Scott A. Imberman

Scott A. Imberman

Michigan State University; Michigan State University - College of Education

Adriana D. Kugler

McCourt School of Public Policy ; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Bruce Sacerdote

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2009

Abstract

In 2005, hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced many children to relocate across the Southeast. While schools quickly enrolled evacuees, receiving families worried about the impact of evacuees on non-evacuee students. Data from Houston and Louisiana show that, on average, the influx of evacuees moderately reduced elementary math test scores in Houston. We reject linear-in-means models of peer effects and find evidence of a highly non-linear but monotonic model - student achievement improves with high ability and worsens with low ability peers. Moreover, exposure to undisciplined evacuees increased native absenteeism and disciplinary problems, supporting a "bad apple" model in behavior.

Suggested Citation

Imberman, Scott Andrew and Kugler, Adriana Debora and Sacerdote, Bruce, Katrina's Children: Evidence on the Structure of Peer Effects from Hurricane Evacuees (August 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15291. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1463884

Scott Andrew Imberman

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

Michigan State University - College of Education ( email )

East Lansing, MI
United States

Adriana Debora Kugler (Contact Author)

McCourt School of Public Policy ( email )

3700 O ST NW
311 Old North
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Bruce Sacerdote

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2121 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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