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Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions

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  • Effrosyni Adamopoulou

Abstract

This paper studies peer group effects on marital decisions. We use data from Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). This database contains detailed information on adolescents’ high school friends as well as their marital behavior later in life. We construct a balanced panel for the years 1995-2002 using the calendar of all past and current relationships of the respondents, which allows us to recover the marital status of each individual and of her friends at any given year. Hence, we are able to analyze how the marital transitions of individuals depend on the marital status of their friends. We use panel data, instrumental variables techniques, and exploit the timing of friendship formation to identify the effect of peers on marital decisions. Our results after controlling for various observable characteristics of individuals and their friends show that peer effects in marital decisions are significant. Robustness checks using former and placebo friends support our results, and indicate that actual peers do matter.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1228.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1228

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Keywords: Peer effects; Friends; Marriage; Cohabitation; Marital decisions;

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References

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  1. Yu Xie & James Raymo & Kimberly Goyette & Arland Thornton, 2003. "Erratum to: “Economic Potential and Entry Into Marriage and Cohabitation”," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages n1-n1, May.
  2. Vincent Boucher & Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2012. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation," CIRANO Working Papers 2012s-31, CIRANO.
  3. Lorenzo Cappellari & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2010. "Friends’ Networks and Job Finding Rates," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia dell'Impresa e del Lavoro ieil0059, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  4. Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2007. "Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks," Cahiers de recherche 0705, CIRPEE.
  5. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
  6. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2004. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 8, Economie d'Avant Garde, revised Apr 2008.
  7. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 7060, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Yu Xie & James Raymo & Kimberl Goyette & Arland Thornton, 2003. "Economic potential and entry into marriage and cohabitation," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 351-367, May.
  9. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jason M. Fletcher, 2010. "Social interactions and smoking: evidence using multiple student cohorts, instrumental variables, and school fixed effects," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 466-484.
  11. Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Leturcq, Marion, 2012. "Will you civil union me? Taxation and civil unions in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 541-552.
  14. Clark, Andrew E. & Lohéac, Youenn, 2005. ""It Wasn't Me, It Was Them!" - Social Influence in Risky Behavior by Adolescents," IZA Discussion Papers 1573, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2013. "Peer Effects and Multiple Equilibria in the Risky Behavior of Friends," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1130-1149, October.
  16. Cingano, Federico & Rosolia, Alfonso, 2008. "People I Know: Job Search and Social Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6818, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Francesco Billari & Belinda Aparicio Diaz & Thomas Fent & Alexia Prskawetz, 2007. "The "Wedding-Ring"," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(3), pages 59-82, August.
  18. Hensvik, Lena & Nilsson, Peter, 2010. "Businesses, buddies and babies: social ties and fertility at work," Working Paper Series 2010:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  19. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
  20. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2010. "Will you “quasi-marry” me? The rise of cohabitation and decline of marriages," Economics Working Papers we1026, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
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Cited by:
  1. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Ezgi Kaya, 2013. "Young adults living with their parents and the influence of peers," Economics Working Papers we1310, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.

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