Affordable Access

Inside the 'Black Box' of Project STAR: Estimation of Peer Effects Using Experimental Data



The credible identification of endogenous peer group effects -- i.e. social multiplier or feedback effects -- has long eluded social scientists. We argue that such effects are most credibly identified by a randomly assigned social program which operates at differing intensities within and between peer groups. The data we use are from Project STAR, a class size reduction experiment conducted in Tennessee elementary schools. In these data, classes were comprised of varying fractions of students who had previously been exposed to the Small class treatment, creating class groupings of varying experimentally induced quality. We use this variation in class group quality to estimate the spillover effect. We find that when allowance is made for this 'feedback' effect of prior exposure to the Small class treatment, the peer effects account for much of the total experimental effects in the later grades, and the direct class size effects are rendered substantially smaller.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times

More articles like this

Peering inside the black box of patient-centered c...

on Circulation. Cardiovascular qu... May 2014

Inside the black box.

on Minnesota medicine June 2008

Inside the ‘black box’

on Non-Destructive Testing Jan 01, 1970
More articles like this..