Peer Effects & Differential Attrition: Evidence from Tennessee’s Project STAR

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2022-04-08

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Abstract

This paper explores the effects of attrition on student development in early education. It aims to provide evidence that student departure in elementary schools has educational impacts on the students they leave behind. Utilizing data from Tennessee’s Project STAR experiment, this paper aims to expand upon the literature of peer effects, as well as attrition, in public elementary schools. It departs from previous papers by utilizing survival analysis to determine which characteristics of students prolonged participation in the experiment. Clustering analysis is subsequently employed to group departed students to better understand the various channels of attrition present in STAR. It finds that students who left Project STAR were more likely to be of lower income and lower ability than their peers. This paper then uses these findings to estimate the peer effects of attrition on students who remained in the experiment and undertakes a discussion of potential sources of bias in this estimation and their effects on the explanatory power of peer effects estimates.

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Satish, Sanjay (2022). Peer Effects & Differential Attrition: Evidence from Tennessee’s Project STAR. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25119.


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