Student Networks and Long-Run Educational Outcomes: The Strength of Strong Ties

68 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2012

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: September 2012

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate and understand the effect of high-school friends on years of schooling. We develop a simple network model where students first choose their friends and then decide how much effort they put in education. The empirical salience of the model is tested using the four waves of the AddHealth data by looking at the impact of school peers nominated in the first two waves in 1994-1995 and in 1995-1996 on the educational outcome of teenagers reported in the fourth wave in 2007-2008 (when adult). We find that there are strong and persistent peer effects in education but peers tend to be influential only when they are strong ties (friends in both wave I and II) and not when they are weak ties (friend in one wave only). We also find that this is not true in the short run since both weak and strong ties tend to influence current grades.

Keywords: education, long-term effects, peer effects, Social networks

JEL Classification: C21, I21, Z13

Suggested Citation

Patacchini, Eleonora and Rainone, Edoardo and Zenou, Yves, Student Networks and Long-Run Educational Outcomes: The Strength of Strong Ties (September 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9149, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2155519

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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