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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. Peter Kuhn & Peter Kooreman & Adriaan Soetevent & Arie Kapteyn, 2011. "The Effects of Lottery Prizes on Winners and Their Neighbors: Evidence from the Dutch Postcode Lottery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2226-47, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Goulão, Catarina & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2013. "Physical Activity and Policy Recommendations: a Social Multiplier Approach," IDEI Working Papers 782, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. 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 1302, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  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. 150688, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Sarah Baird & J. Aislinn Bohren & Craig McIntosh & Berk Ozler, 2014. "Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects," PIER Working Paper Archive 14-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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