What Is a Peer? The Role of Network Definitions in Estimation of Endogenous Peer Effects
AbstractWe employ a standard identification strategy from the peer effects literature to investigate the importance of network definitions in estimation of endogenous peer effects. We use detailed information on friends in the Adolescent Longitudinal Health Survey (Add Health) to construct two network definitions that are less ad hoc than the school-grade cohorts commonly used in the educational peer effects literature. We demonstrate that accurate definitions of the peer network seriously impact estimation of peer effects. In particular, we show that peer effects estimates on educational achievement, smoking, sexual behavior, and drinking are substantially larger with our more detailed measures than with the school-grade cohorts. These results highlight the need to further understand how friendships form in order to fully understand implications for policy that alters the peer group mix at the classroom or cohort level.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3335.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2012, 44 (3), 289 - 302
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Other versions of this item:
- Timothy J. Halliday & Sally Kwak, 2012. "What is a peer? The role of network definitions in estimation of endogenous peer effects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 289-302, January.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-03-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2008-03-15 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2008-03-15 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-NET-2008-03-15 (Network Economics)
- NEP-URE-2008-03-15 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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- Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2009.
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- Son Thierry Ly & Arnaud Riegert, 2013. "Persistent Classmates: How Familiarity with Peers Protects from Disruptive School Transitions," Working Papers halshs-00842265, HAL.
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