The evaluation of the short-term and long-term of disruptive peer effects in the primary education stage has become a hot topic in labor economics. Based on the latest Chinese Education Panel Survey（CEPS）data in 2014, this paper empirically examines the impact of disruptive peers on the student test scores. When studying the peer effects, there are two key problems to solve, reflection and self-selection. The so-called " reflection” refers to the problem of mutual influences between peers. It is essentially a reverse causality problem that is often encountered in the setting of econometric models, because it is difficult to tell whether the disruptive students have an impact on other students or some students have a bad influence on the surrounding students, which leads to a biased and inconsistent estimator if researchers use the surrounding students’ performance to explain other students’. Self-selection mainly refers to the fact that families don’t choose schools and classes completely randomly. In order to overcome the estimation bias caused by the problem of reflection and self-selection, we define the class environment as the proportion of disruptive students in the class rather than the peer achievement used in the traditional literature, and we also control the cohort features. After controlling the individual and family factors, we find that students exposed to a disruptive environment have a significant lower education performance. This effect is more significant for the third grade students in the junior high school. One percent increase of the disruptive peers will result in about 0.2 decreasing in the average standardized test score. The result also shows that the acadamic performance of male students, students with poor family conditions and boarding students is more sensitive to class peers. The heterogeneity analysis of school types shows that peer effects are more obvious in schools with poor education and in township/rural schools. Furthermore, quantile regression results show that the negative effect of disruptive peers has a greater impact on poorly performing students. This paper is helpful to enrich the academic cognition of educational production function and provide a useful reference for future education policy. The underlying implication of our study is that if there are reasonable and feasible policies that can change students’ class environment or a more reasonable class division plan, it will effectively improve the educational achievements of students. In addition, the attention to students’ family environment should be strengthened, especially those students who perform poorly in school, and strengthening communication and psychological counseling will bring about significant spillovers.
The Evaluation of Peer Effects in Primary Education
Journal of Finance and Economics Vol. 44, Issue 07, pp. 4 - 15 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jfe.2018.07.001
 Feng S Z, Chen Y Y. School types and education of migrant children: An empirical study in Shanghai[J]. China Economic Quarterly, 2012, (4): 1455-1476. (In Chinese)
 Yang P, Zhu Q. The analysis of peer relationship of junior middle school students[J]. Peking University Education Review, 2013, (3): 99-117. (In Chinese)
 Yuan Y Z. Analysis of peer effect in education: Based on Shanghai 2012 PISA data[J]. Shanghai Research on Education, 2016, (3): 30-34. (In Chinese)
 Aizer A. Peer effects and human capital accumulation: The externalities of ADD[R]. NBER Working Paper No. 14354, 2008.
 Baldry A C. Bullying in schools and exposure to domestic violence[J]. Child Abuse & Neglect，2003, 27(7): 713-732.
 Bifulco R, Fletcher J M, Ross S L. The effect of classmate characteristics on post-secondary outcomes: Evidence from the add health[J]. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2011, 3(1): 25-53.
 Black D S, Sussman S, Unger J B. A further look at the intergenerational transmission of violence: Witnessing interparental violence in emerging adulthood[J]. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2010, 25(6): 1022-1042.
 Bloom B. Human characteristics and school learning[M]. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.
 Boozer M, Cacciola S E. Inside the ‘Black Box’ of project star: Estimation of peer effects using experimental data[R]. Yale Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 832, 2001.
 Bowles S. Towards an educational production function[A]. Hanson W L. Education, income, and human capital[C]. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970.
 Buchinsky M. Changes in the U.S. wage structure 1963-1987: Application of quantile regression[J]. Econometrica, 1994, 62(2): 405-458.
 Burke M A, Sass T R. Classroom peer effects and student achievement[J]. Journal of Labor Economics, 2013, 31(1): 51-82.
 Carlson B E. Children exposed to intimate partner violence research findings and implications for intervention[J]. Trauma Violence & Abuse, 2000, 1(4): 321-342.
 Carrell S E, Malmstrom F V, West J E. Peer effects in academic cheating[J]. The Journal of Human Resources, 2008, 43(1): 173-207.
 Carrell S E, Hoekstra M L. Externalities in the classroom: How children exposed to domestic violence affect everyone’s kids[J]. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2010, 2(1): 211-228.
 Carrell S E, Hoekstra M. Family business or social problem? The cost of unreported domestic violence[J]. Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, 2012, 31(4): 861-875.
 Carrell S E, Hoekstra M, Kuka E. The long-run effects of disruptive peers[R]. NBER Working Paper No. 22042, 2016.
 Coleman J S. Equality of educational opportunity[M]. Washington: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, 1966.
 Currie C L. Animal cruelty by children exposed to domestic violence[J]. Child Abuse & Neglect, 2006, 30(4): 425-435.
 Edleson J L. Children’s witnessing of adult domestic violence[J]. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1999, 14(8): 839-870.
 Fantuzzo J, Boruch R, Beriama A, et al. Domestic violence and children: Prevalence and risk in five major U.S. cities[J]. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1997, 36(1): 116-122.
 Foster G. It’s not your peers, and it’s not your friends: Some progress toward understanding the educational peer effect mechanism[J]. Journal of Public Economics, 2006, 90(8-9): 1455-1475.
 Hanushek E A, Kain J F, Markman J M, et al. Does peer ability affect student achievement?[J]. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 2003, 18(5): 527-544.
 Hoxby C M. Peer effects in the classroom: Learning from gender and race variation[R]. NBER Working Paper No.7867, 2000a.
 Hoxby C M. The effects of class size on student achievement: New evidence from population variation[J]. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2000b, 115(4): 1239-1285.
 Hoxby C M, Weingarth G. Taking race out of the equation: School reassignment and the structure of peer effects[R].Working Paper, 2005.
 Koenen K C, Moffitt T E, Caspi A, et al. Domestic violence is associated with environmental suppression of IQ in young children[J]. Development and Psychopathology, 2003, 15(2): 297-311.
 Kremer M, Dan L. Peer effects and alcohol use among college students[J]. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2008, 22(3): 189-206.
 Lefgren L. Educational peer effects and the Chicago public schools[J]. Journal of Urban Economics, 2004, 56(2): 169-191.
 Lyle D S. Estimating and interpreting peer and role model effects from randomly assigned social groups at west point[J]. Review of Economics and Statistics, 2007, 89(2): 289-299.
 Manski C F. Identification of endogenous social effects: The reflection problem[R]. Wisconsin Madison-Social Systems Working Paper, 1991.
 Reading R. The impact of exposure to domestic violence on children and young people: A review of the literature[J]. Child: Care, Health and Development, 2008, 34(6): 840-841.
 Sacerdote B. Peer effects with random assignment: Results for Dartmouth roommates[J]. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001, 116(2): 681-704.
 Stinebrickner R, Stinebrickner T R. What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds[J]. Journal of Public Economics, 2006, 90(8-9): 1435-1454.
 Wolfe D A, Crooks C V, Lee V, et al. The effects of children’s exposure to domestic violence: A meta-analysis and critique[J]. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 2003, 6(3): 171-187.
 Zimmerman D J. Peer effects in academic outcomes: Evidence from a natural experiment[J]. Review of Economics and Statistics, 2003, 85(1): 9-23.
Cite this article
Zong Qingqing, Li Xuesong. The Evaluation of Peer Effects in Primary Education[J]. Journal of Finance and Economics, 2018, 44(7): 4-15.