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CentrePiece article
In brief...Top of the class
Richard Murphy and Felix Weinhardt
December 2013
Paper No' CEPCP405:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 18 (2) Autumn 2013

JEL Classification: I21; J24; D01

Tags: rank; non-cognitive skills; peer effects

Boys may be better off not going to the school with high-performing peers, according to research by Richard Murphy and Felix Weinhardt, which explores how much impact there is on later confidence and exam results from where a child ranks in primary school. They find that being ranked in the top quarter of your primary school peers as opposed to the bottom quarter improves later test scores by twice as much as being taught by a highly effective teacher for one year (with boys four times more affected by being top of the class than girls). Non-cognitive skills such as confidence, perseverance and resilience have big effects on achievement.

This article summarises ‘The Importance of Rank Position’ by Richard Murphy and Felix Weinhardt, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1241, September 2013.