Peer Effects in Medical School

30 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2002 Last revised: 28 Oct 2010

See all articles by Peter Arcidiacono

Peter Arcidiacono

Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sean Nicholson

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2002

Abstract

Using data on the universe of students who graduated from U.S. medical schools between 1996 and 1998, we examine whether the abilities and specialty preferences of a medical school class affect a student's academic achievement in medical school and his choice of specialty. We mitigate the selection problem by including school-specific fixed effects, and show that this method yields an upper bound on peer effects for our data. We estimate positive peer effects that disappear when school-specific fixed effects are added to control for the endogeneity of a peer group. We find no evidence that peer effects are stronger for blacks, that peer groups are formed along racial lines, or that students with relatively low ability benefit more from their peers than students with relatively high ability. However, we do find some evidence that peer groups form along gender lines.

Suggested Citation

Arcidiacono, Peter and Nicholson, Sean, Peer Effects in Medical School (June 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9025, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=317610

Peter Arcidiacono

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Sean Nicholson (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

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United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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