Using data from a well-executed randomized experiment, I examine the effects of gender composition and peer achievement on high school students’ outcomes in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Results show that having a higher proportion of female peers in the classroom improves girls’ math test scores only in less-advanced courses. For male students, the estimated gender peer effects are positive but less precisely estimated. I also find no effect of average classroom achievement on female math test scores. Males, on the other hand, seem to benefit from a higher-achieving classroom. I propose mechanisms relating to lower gender stereotype influences and gender-specific attitudes toward competition as potential explanations for peer effects findings. Finally, having a higher proportion of female students in the classroom decreases student absenteeism among male students but has no impact on female attendance.

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