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

Canadian Journal of Economics, 2010

Recommended citation: Friesen, Jane and Brian Krauth (2010). "Sorting, peers, and achievement of Aboriginal students in British Columbia." Canadian Journal of Economics. 43(4).

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.

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