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Networks and Workouts: Treatment Size and Status Specific Peer Effects in a Randomized Field Experiment

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  • Philip S. Babcock
  • John L. Hartman

Abstract

This paper estimates treatment size and status specific peer effects that are not detected by widely-used approaches to the estimation of spillovers. In a field experiment using university students, we find that subjects who have been incentivized to exercise increase gym usage more if they have more treated friends. However, control subjects are not influenced by their peers. Findings demonstrate that fraction treated has a large influence on outcomes in this environment, and spillovers vary greatly by treatment status. Results highlight subtle effects of randomization and document a low-cost method for improving the generalizability of controlled interventions in networked environments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16581.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16581

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  1. Kuhn, Peter J. & Kooreman, Peter & Soetevent, Adriaan R. & Kapteyn, Arie, 2010. "The Effects of Lottery Prizes on Winners and their Neighbors: Evidence from the Dutch Postcode Lottery," IZA Discussion Papers 4950, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Baird, Sarah & Bohren, Aislinn & McIntosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2014. "Designing experiments to measure spillover effects," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 6824, The World Bank.
  2. Goulão, Catarina & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2013. "Physical Activity and Policy Recommendations: a Social Multiplier Approach," TSE Working Papers, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) 13-414, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  3. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Gulati, Kajal, 2013. "Female social networks and learning about a new technology in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 150688, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Gulati, Kajal, 2013. "Leveling with friends: Social networks and indian farmers’ demand for agricultural custom hire services:," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 1302, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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