, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 745–773 | Cite as

Differential Peer Effects, Student Achievement, and Student Absenteeism: Evidence From a Large-Scale Randomized Experiment

  • Ozkan ErenEmail author


Using data from a well-executed randomized experiment, I examine the effects of gender composition and peer achievement on high school students’ outcomes in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Results show that having a higher proportion of female peers in the classroom improves girls’ math test scores only in less-advanced courses. For male students, the estimated gender peer effects are positive but less precisely estimated. I also find no effect of average classroom achievement on female math test scores. Males, on the other hand, seem to benefit from a higher-achieving classroom. I propose mechanisms relating to lower gender stereotype influences and gender-specific attitudes toward competition as potential explanations for peer effects findings. Finally, having a higher proportion of female students in the classroom decreases student absenteeism among male students but has no impact on female attendance.


Peer effects Instrumental variables Randomized experiment Teach for America Power calculations 

Supplementary material

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Online Resource 1 (PDF 123 kb)
13524_2017_552_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (25 kb)
Online Resource 2 (PDF 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.E. J. Ourso College of Business, Department of EconomicsLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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