This paper estimates the effects of high performing male or female peers, proxied by their final high school grade, on individual academic performance, according to the gender of the student. In particular, we consider the effects on several individual outcomes, such as the grades obtained, the number of credits achieved and the probability to drop out.
The impact of high performing male or female peers is heterogeneous. We found that female high performing peers have stronger positive effects than males, in particular with peers of the same gender. There is evidence that exposure to high performing males can even be negative, especially for low ability students and for female students in competitive environments, such as the STEM fields of study.