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Isolating Peer Effects in the Returns to College Selectivity

Nicolás de Roux () and Evan Riehl ()

Documentos CEDE from Universidad de los Andes - CEDE

Abstract: This paper asks how a student’s classmates affect her returns to college. We exploit a “tracking” admission system at a selective Colombian university that led to large differences in mean classmate ability for students in the same programs. In a regression discontinuity design, we find that students in higher-ability classes were more likely to fail courses and drop out, and had lower earnings one decade later. Testable predictions from a human capital model with peer externalities show that individuals learned less in more able classrooms. Our findings suggest that exposure to higher-ability college peers can harm an individual’s career trajectory.

Keywords: College Selectivity; Peer Effects; Returns to Education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 I26 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-09-05
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http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/publicaciones/dcede2019-34.pdf

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:col:000089:017413

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