Sorting, peers, and achievement of Aboriginal students in British Columbia

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We examine the contribution of differences in school environments to the gap in education outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. We find both substantial school-level segregation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students and a substantial gap in test scores. Conventional achievement gap decompositions attribute roughly half of the grade 7 test score gap to between-school differences and half to within-school differences. The segregation of Aboriginal students suggests that peer effects might explain some of these between-school achievement differences. However, we find that peer effects associated with a greater proportion of Aboriginal peers, if anything, improve value-added exam outcomes of Aboriginal students.

Keywords: I21

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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