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Peer Effects in Exogenously Formed University Student Groups

We estimate the influence of classmates’ ability characteristics on student achievement in exogenously formed student groups. The study uses administrative data on undergraduate students at a large selective university in Russia. The presence of high-ability classmates has a positive effect on individual academic performance, and students at the top of the ability distribution derive the greatest benefit from their presence. An increase in the proportion of less able students has an insignificant or negative influence on individual grades.