Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Economics Dept.


Dan LaFave

Second Advisor

Debra Barbezat


Using a unique panel data set constructed from registrar and admissions data, I examine peer effects on course grades in two disciplinary areas, Social Sciences, and Math and Sciences, for students who attended Colby College between the Fall of 2004 and the Spring of 2008. Simultaneously controlling for student, professor and course fixed effects, thereby easing endogeneity concerns posed by nonrandom assignment, I estimate peer effects on academic performance by examining the composition of an individual's classmates based on SAT scores, own gender, and peer gender, using a nonlinear, proportions-based two-way interaction model. I find strong evidence that students of high ability are positively influenced by having high ability classmates in Social Science classes, and suggestive evidence that these individuals may only be positively influenced by having high ability male classmates.

JEL Classification: I21, I23, J24


Full-text download restricted to Colby College campus only.


Peer Effects, Education, Spillovers, Higher Education, Nonlinear

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