Quantitative Economics

Journal Of The Econometric Society

Edited by: Stéphane Bonhomme • Print ISSN: 1759-7323 • Online ISSN: 1759-7331

Quantitative Economics: Mar, 2017, Volume 8, Issue 1

Who is sitting next to you? Peer effects inside the classroom

Sok Chul Hong, Jungmin Lee

We examine college students' interaction within classrooms and estimate peer effects on their academic performance. We exploit a unique seating rule at a university in South Korea, known as the fixed‐seat system. We propose a novel identification strategy based on students' repeated interaction. Our findings show that a student's performance in a class is significantly influenced by his or her next‐seat neighbor's ability. The effect is heterogeneous, varying by student and class characteristics. Also quantile regressions reveal that peer effects are significant among below‐average students and among those at the top end.

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