Research Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm University
Dynamic Aspects of Teenage Friendships and Educational Attainment
(), Edoardo Rainone
() and Yves Zenou
Abstract: We study peer effects in education. We first develop a
network model that predicts a relationship between own education and peersí
education as measured by direct links in the social network. We then test
this relationship using the four waves of the AddHealth data, looking at
the impact of school friends nominated in the first wave in 1994-1995 on
own educational outcome reported in the fourth wave in 2007-2008. We find
that there are strong and persistent peer effects in education since a
standard deviation increase in peersí education attainment translates into
roughly a 10 percent increase of a standard deviation in the individualís
education attainment (roughly 3.5 more months of education). We also find
that peer effects are in fact significant only for adolescents who were
friends in grades 10-12 but not for those who were friends in grades 7-9.
This might indicate that social norms are important in educational choice
since the individualís choice of college seems to be influenced by that of
friends in the two last years of high school.
Keywords: Social networks; education; peer effects; identification strategy; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C21; I21; Z13; (follow links to similar papers)
32 pages, January 25, 2011
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