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The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Post-Secondary Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health

Robert Bifulco, Jason M. Fletcher and Stephen L. Ross
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Vol. 3, No. 1 (February 2011), pp. 25-53
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41238084
Page Count: 29
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The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Post-Secondary Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health
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Abstract

This paper uses a within-school/across-cohort design to present new evidence of the effects of high school classmate characteristics on a wide range of post-secondary outcomes. We find that increases in the percent of classmates with college-educated mothers decreases the likelihood of dropping out and increases the likelihood of attending college, despite showing no impact on a range of in-school achievement, attitudes, and behaviors. The percent of students from disadvantaged minority groups does not show any effects on postsecondary outcomes, but is associated with students reporting less caring student-teacher relationships and increased prevalence of some undesirable student behaviors during high school.

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