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Do Peer Groups Matter? Peer Group versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment

23 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2003  

Donald Robertson

Cambridge University - Department of Economics

James Symons

University College London - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper estimates an educational production function. Educational attainment is a function of peer group, parental input and schooling. Conventional measures of school quality are not good predictors for academic attainment, once we control for peer group effects; parental qualities also have strong effects on academic attainment. This academic attainment is a then a key determinant of subsequent labour market success, as measured by earnings. The main methodological innovation in this paper is the nomination of a set of instruments, very broad regions of birth, which, as a whole, pass close scrutiny for validity and permit unbiased estimation of the production function.

Suggested Citation

Robertson, Donald and Symons, James, Do Peer Groups Matter? Peer Group versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment. Economica, Vol. 70, pp. 31-53, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=388214

Donald Robertson (Contact Author)

Cambridge University - Department of Economics ( email )

Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DE
United Kingdom
+44 1223 335275 (Phone)
+44 1223 335475 (Fax)

James Symons

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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