Student Performance, Peer Effects, and Friend Networks: Evidence from a Randomized Peer Intervention
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
We estimate the effects of an educational peer intervention, in which previously high- and low-achieving students are randomly paired as deskmates in elementary schools in China. Our treatment boosts the mathematics scores of the low-achieving students. Moreover, the treatment enhances the extraversion and agreeableness of high- and low-achieving students, thereby providing evidence that peers can influence personality traits. The positive treatment effects can be attributed to the deskmate-level peer effects. We document friend network structure changes and present additional evidence on how friendship ties help us better understand the mechanisms behind peer effects.
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