The analysis of students’ academic achievement: the evaluation of peer effects through relational links
In literature, the analysis of the influence of the environmental context on individual choices and behaviors, with particular reference to areas related to school and academic education, is usually performed through the methodology of peer effects. In this study, after presenting a brief overview on this approach, we propose a procedure for the analysis of the dependence of students’ academic performances on the contextual effects, determined by the sociometric ties observed between them, and by the subsequent division of the network into groups, using the linear-in-mean model for social interactions. This procedure is then applied to real data, collected in a second level degree course of the university of Rome Tor Vergata, for the construction of some models on student academic achievement. Empirical evidence suggests that peer effects are a significant determinant of performance, and that they identify explanatory aspects of individual achievement, that usual regressors are not able to catch.
KeywordsInternal effectiveness Student achievement Peer effects Social networks
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