Working paper 08/186 - abstract

Girl Power? An analysis of peer effects using exogenous changes in the gender make-up of the peer group (PDF, 917kB)

Steven Proud

The effect of a child’s peers has long been regarded as an important factor in affecting their educational outcomes. However, these effects are often difficult to estimate. I use exogenous changes in the proportion of girls within English school cohorts to estimate the effect of a more female peer group, estimated in all schools, and in a subset of schools that only include one classroom per academic year. I find significant negative effects of a more female peer group on boys’ outcomes in English. In maths and science, all pupils benefit from a more female peer group up until age 11.

Updated version March 2010.

Original version January 2008.

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