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Can we select the right peers in Indian Education? Evidence from Kolkata

Paul Frijters (), Asadul Islam () and Debayan Pakrashi

No 39-16, Monash Economics Working Papers from Monash University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper studies the effects of random dormitory assignment in a tertiary level educational institution in India on students’ subsequent academic achievements. The effects of peer ability are around one-third as high as that of own ability, and strongly non-linear. We find that students from non-urban and non-English backgrounds do particularly better when assigned to higher-ability peers. Via policy simulations, we find that assortative matching maximises average grades and leads to higher grades than random matching for each group except for the most disadvantaged group (the backward social classes). We also examine channels and mechanisms through which peer effects work in our context.

Keywords: peer effects; social class; ability; education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 I23 I25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ure
Date: 2016-11
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