Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents
AbstractThis paper estimates the effects of friends’ health behaviors, smoking and drinking, on own health behaviors for adolescents while controlling for the effects of correlated unobservables between those friends. Specifically, the effect of friends’ health behaviors is identified by comparing similar individuals who have the same friendship opportunities because they attend the same school and make similar friendship choices, under the assumption that the friendship choice reveals information about an individual’s unobservables. We combine this identification strategy with a cross-cohort, within school design so that the model is identified based on across grade differences in the clustering of health behaviors within specific friendship patterns. Finally, we use the estimated information on correlated unobservables to examine longitudinal data on the on-set of health behaviors, where the opportunity for reverse causality should be minimal. Our estimates for both behavior and on-set are very robust to bias from correlated unobservables.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18253.
Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- Fletcher, J; & Ross, S;, 2011. "Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/13, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross, 2011. "Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents," Working papers 2011-26, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross, 2011. "Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents," Working Papers 2011-011, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-08-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2012-08-23 (Health Economics)
- NEP-URE-2012-08-23 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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