17 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2010
Date Written: June 21, 2010
We estimate the academic benefits to college students living on campus and investigate why they may perform better in school. This paper addresses two channels to explain why living on campus may improve academic performance. First, we examine whether on-campus students are more likely to take advantage of university provided resources (libraries, tutors, computer technology, university sponsored extracurricular activities, etc) than off-campus students. Secondly, we examine whether peer influences and interactions, including collaborative studying with friends and/or classmates and engagement in drug and alcohol consumption. Instrumental variables are used to account for the likely endogeneity of students' living decisions. We find evidence that living on campus causes an increase in student performance while they are living on campus, and in subsequent semesters even if they later move off campus. We identify significant peer-effect channels to explain why students that have lived on campus in the past perform better than others, but largely fail to identify channels explaining why students should immediately perform better while they live on campus.
Keywords: Student performance, dormitory, cross-section analysis, regression, instrumental variables
JEL Classification: C13, C21, I21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation