The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Peer effects and measurement error: the impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA)

Micklewright, John, Schnepf, Sylke V. and Silva, Pedro N. (2012) Peer effects and measurement error: the impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA) Economics of Education Review, 31, (6), pp. 1136-1142. (doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.07.015).

Record type: Article


Investigation of peer effects on achievement with sample survey data on schools may mean that only a random sample of the population of peers is observed for each individual. This generates measurement error in peer variables similar in form to the textbook case of errors-in-variables, resulting in the estimated peer group effects in an OLS regression model being biased towards zero. We investigate the problem using survey data for England from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) linked to administrative microdata recording information for each PISA sample member's entire year cohort. We calculate a peer group measure based on these complete data and compare its use with a variable based on peers in just the PISA sample. We also use a Monte Carlo experiment to show how the extent of the attenuation bias rises as peer sample size falls. On average, the estimated peer effect is biased downwards by about one third when drawing a sample of peers of the size implied by the PISA survey design.

Microsoft Word Peer effects_28 Sept 2011.doc - Accepted Manuscript
Download (164kB)

More information

Published date: December 2012
Keywords: peer effects, measurement error, school surveys, sampling variation, PISA
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography


Local EPrints ID: 341625
ISSN: 0272-7757
PURE UUID: a913f969-80ca-4340-940f-93247ab4fe12

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jul 2012 13:17
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:33

Export record



Author: John Micklewright
Author: Pedro N. Silva

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.