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The Social Multiplier

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  • Edward L. Glaeser

    (Harvard University and NBER,)

  • Bruce I. Sacerdote

    (Dartmouth College and NBER,)

  • Jose A. Scheinkman

    (Princeton University,)

Abstract

Aggregate data is often used to make inferences about individual level behavior. If there are social interactions in which one person's actions influence his neighbor's incentives or information, then these inferences are inappropriate. The presence of positive social interactions, or strategic complementarities, implies the existence of a social multiplier where aggregate relationships will overstate individual elasticities. We present a brief model and then estimate the size of the social multiplier in three areas: the impact of education on wages, the impact of demographics on crime and group membership among Dartmouth roommates. In these contexts, there is a significant social multiplier. (JEL: HO, JO, CO) Copyright (c) 2003 The European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
Pages: 345-353

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:1:y:2003:i:2-3:p:345-353

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  1. James E. Rauch, 1991. "Productivity Gains From Geographic Concentration of human Capital: Evidence From the Cities," NBER Working Papers 3905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2001. "Non-Market Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1914, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2000. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," NBER Working Papers 7527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2001. "Urban Poverty And Juvenile Crime: Evidence From A Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679, May.
  7. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Working Papers 7444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brock, William A & Durlauf, Steven N, 2001. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 235-60, April.
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  1. The Scourge of Overemployment
    by Peter Frase in Peter Frase on 2012-03-01 14:00:22
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