Peer Effects in Adolescent Cannabis Use: It's the Friends, Stupid
AbstractThis paper examines peer effects in adolescent cannabis use from several different reference groups, exploiting survey data that have many desirable properties and have not previously been used for this purpose. Treating the school grade as the reference group, and using both neighbourhood fixed effects and IV for identification, we find evidence of large, positive, and statistically significant peer effects. Treating nominated friends as the reference group, and using both school fixed effects and IV for identification, we again find evidence of large, positive, and generally statistically significant peer effects. Our preferred IV approach exploits information about friends of friends – ‘friends once removed’, who are not themselves friends – to instrument for friends’ cannabis use. Finally, we examine whether the cannabis use of schoolmates who are not nominated as friends – ‘non-friends’ – influences own cannabis use. Once again using neighbourhood fixed effects and IV for identification, the evidence suggests zero impact. In our data, schoolmates who are not also friends have no influence on adolescent cannabis use.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2012n27.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
More information through EDIRC
Peer effects; reference groups; cannabis; adolescents; friends;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
- J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
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