Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

  title={Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment},
  author={David J. Zimmerman},
  journal={Review of Economics and Statistics},
  • D. Zimmerman
  • Published 1 November 1999
  • Psychology
  • Review of Economics and Statistics
I use data from Williams College to implement a quasi-experimental empirical strategy aimed at measuring peer effects in academic outcomes. In particular, I use data on individual students' grades, their SAT scores, and the SAT scores of their roommates. I argue that first-year roommates are assigned randomly with respect to academic ability. This allows me to measure differences in grades of high-, medium-, or low-SAT students living with high-, medium-, or low-SAT roommates. With random… 

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