Dynamic Aspects of Teenage Friendships and Educational Attainment

35 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011

See all articles by Eleonora Patacchini

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Edoardo Rainone

Bank of Italy

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics; Stockholm University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

We study peer effects in education. We first develop a network model that predicts a relationship between own education and peers' 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 peers' education attainment translates into roughly a 10 percent increase of a standard deviation in the individual's 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 individual's choice of college seems to be influenced by that of friends in the two last years of high school.

Keywords: education, identification strategy, peer effects, social networks

JEL Classification: C21, I21, Z13

Suggested Citation

Patacchini, Eleonora and Rainone, Edoardo and Zenou, Yves, Dynamic Aspects of Teenage Friendships and Educational Attainment (February 1, 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8223, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1758432

Eleonora Patacchini (Contact Author)

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Edoardo Rainone

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5501
S-114 85 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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