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ERIC Number: ED502821
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 0
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Peer Effects and Human Capital Accumulation: the Externalities of ADD. NBER Working Paper No. 14354
Aizer, Anna
National Bureau of Economic Research
Although recent work has shown that peers affect human capital accumulation, the mechanisms are not well understood. Knowing why high achieving peers matter, because of their innate ability, disciplined behavior or some other factor, has important implications for our understanding of the education production function and for how we organize schools and classrooms. In this paper I provide evidence that peer behavior is an important mechanism. To identify the impact of peer behavior on achievement separate from ability or other characteristics, I exploit exogenous improvements in classmates' inattention/impulsivity that result from a diagnosis of ADD. After children with ADD are diagnosed, I show that their behavior improves, but that no other characteristics, including achievement, change. I find that peer behavior significantly affects cognitive achievement and that resources such as class size can overcome the negative peer effects observed, consistent with the model of education production proposed by Lazear (2001). These findings have important implications for our understanding not only of peer effects but also of the relationship between health, productivity and growth.
National Bureau of Economic Research. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site: http://www.nber.org/cgi-bin/get_bars.pl?bar=pub
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research