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Peer Effects in Adolescent Cannabis Use: It's the Friends, Stupid

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Author Info

  • John Moriarty

    (Institute of Child Care Research, Queen's University Belfast)

  • Duncan McVicar

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Kathryn Higgins

    (School of Sociology, Social Policy, and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast)

Abstract

This 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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File URL: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2012n27.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper 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.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2012n27

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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
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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Related research

Keywords: Peer effects; reference groups; cannabis; adolescents; friends;

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References

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  1. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
  2. Edward C. Norton & Richard C. Lindrooth & Susan T. Ennett, 2003. "How measures of perception from survey data lead to inconsistent regression results: evidence from adolescent and peer substance use," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 139-148.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  5. Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0814, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Daiji Kawaguchi, 2004. "Peer effects on substance use among American teenagers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 351-367, 06.
  7. 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.
  8. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Duncan McVicar, 2012. "Cross Country Estimates of Peer Effects in Adolescent Smoking Using IV and School Fixed Effects," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  10. Lefgren, Lars, 2004. "Educational peer effects and the Chicago public schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 169-191, September.
  11. Jan C. van Ours & Jenny Williams, 2007. "Why Parents Worry: Initiation into Cannabis Use by Youth and their Educational Attainment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1013, The University of Melbourne.
  12. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
  13. Duncan McVicar & Arnold Polanski, 2012. "Peer Effects in UK Adolescent Substance Use: Never Mind the Classmates?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  14. Brian Krauth, 2004. "Peer and selection effects on youth smoking in California," HEW 0408002, EconWPA.
  15. Kooreman, P. & Soetevent, A., 2007. "A discrete choice model with social interactions; with an application to high school teen behavior," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-284131, Tilburg University.
  16. McVicar, Duncan, 2011. "Estimates of peer effects in adolescent smoking across twenty six European Countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(8), pages 1186-1193.
  17. Brian Krauth, 2005. "Peer effects and selection effects on smoking among Canadian youth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 735-757, August.
  18. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  19. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
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