Raising College Students’ Grades: A Controlled Experiment in Peer Effects
Scott Carrell

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Davis

Primary Discipline

Using peer effects, this study will examine whether a fixed set of students can be sorted into peer groups in such a way as to improve student academic outcomes. To do so, we will identify nonlinear peer effects in academic performance at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and create optimally designed peer groups using linear programming techniques. Using controlled experimental design; we will sort the entire freshman cohort of students entering USAFA over a two-year period. One-half of the incoming freshman class will be randomly assigned to the control peer groups while the other half will be optimally sorted into the treatment peer groups. Academic performance differences will then be measured between the treatment and control groups. To our knowledge, this will be the first peer effects controlled experiment in which performance differences are measured.
About Scott Carrell

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