The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers

40 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2016 Last revised: 24 Sep 2021

See all articles by Scott E. Carrell

Scott E. Carrell

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Mark Hoekstra

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elira Kuka

Southern Methodist University (SMU)

Date Written: February 2016

Abstract

A large and growing literature has documented the importance of peer effects in education. However, there is relatively little evidence on the long-run educational and labor market consequences of childhood peers. We examine this question by linking administrative data on elementary school students to subsequent test scores, college attendance and completion, and earnings. To distinguish the effect of peers from confounding factors, we exploit the population variation in the proportion of children from families linked to domestic violence, who were shown by Carrell and Hoekstra (2010, 2012) to disrupt contemporaneous behavior and learning. Results show that exposure to a disruptive peer in classes of 25 during elementary school reduces earnings at age 26 by 3 to 4 percent. We estimate that differential exposure to children linked to domestic violence explains 5 to 6 percent of the rich-poor earnings gap in our data, and that removing one disruptive peer from a classroom for one year would raise the present discounted value of classmates' future earnings by $100,000.

Suggested Citation

Carrell, Scott E. and Hoekstra, Mark and Kuka, Elira, The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers (February 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22042, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2739567

Scott E. Carrell (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States

Mark Hoekstra

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Elira Kuka

Southern Methodist University (SMU) ( email )

6212 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

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