Document Type

Working Paper


Fall 11-2021


Peer Effect, Network, Homophily, Education




Institute of Education Sciences (award number: R305A170270)


Working Papers Series


We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Institute of Education Sciences (award number: R305A170270). We would like to thank the NYC Department of Education for providing data and for their support, especially the Office of Pupil Transportation, Alexandra Robinson, and Tim Calabrese. For data support, advice, and suggestions, we also thank Meryle Weinstein, Sarah Cordes, and Joanna Bailey. We thank Stephen Ross, seminar participants at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, the AEFP conference, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan Summer Workshop in Education and Social Policy for useful comments on previous drafts. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the NYC Department of Education.


Economic Policy | Economics | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


Generalizing the group interaction model of Lee (2007), we identify and estimate the effects of student level social spillovers on standardized test performance in New York City (NYC) elementary schools. We leverage student demographic data to construct within-classroom social networks based on shared student characteristics, such as a gender or ethnicity. Rather than aggregate shared characteristics into a single network matrix, we specify additively separate network matrices for each shared characteristic and estimate city-wide peer effects for each one. Conditional on being in the same classroom, we find that the most important student peer effects are shared ethnicity, gender, and primary language spoken at home. We show that altering classroom composition changes the impact of these networks. Particularly, low ethnic diversity is correlated with low impact for shared ethnicity. We discuss identification of the model and its implications for within- and between-group test performance gaps along several demographic traits.



Additional Information

Working paper no. 241


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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