Raising your sights: the impact of friendship networks on educational aspirations
AbstractWe use a unique longitudinal dataset on an adolescent friendship network to evaluate variations on educational aspirations of young people from disadvantaged and middle income backgrounds. We evaluate whether such people who have friends from wealthier backgrounds have higher aspirations than otherwise similar young people without such links. The results suggest that there are such effects. Individuals from low income families with friends from high income families are 15.2% more likely to expect to stay in full time education after they finish compulsory school. We find similar effects for the educational aspirations and expectations of middle income children. These effects are quantitatively and statistically significant, and robust to the inclusion of a wide range of control variables. We also show that friend’s mother’s aspirations matter too. Having friends whose mothers hope they will go to university increases the wish to carry on full time education by 30% points. This is conditional on the young person’s own mother’s aspirations for her/him.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 11/271.
Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Networks; Friendships; Aspirations; Adolescents; Income; Education.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-12-13 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2011-12-13 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2011-12-13 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2011-12-13 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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