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Peer Effects in Higher Education: Does the Field of Study Matter?

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  • Giorgio Brunello

    ()
    (University di Padova)

  • Maria De Paola

    (University of Calabria)

  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    (University of Calabria)

Abstract

Does the peer effect vary with the field of study? Using data from a middle-sized public university located in Southern Italy and exploiting the random assignment of first year students to college accommodation, we find that roommate peer effects for freshmen enrolled in the Hard Sciences are positive and significantly larger than for freshmen enrolled in the Humanities and Social Sciences. We present a simple theoretical model which suggests that the uncovered differences between fields in the size of the peer effect could plausibly be generated by between-field variation in labor market returns, which affect optimal student effort.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0092.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0092

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Keywords: peer effects; effort; fields of study; random assignment; Italy;

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Cited by:
  1. Gregory Androushchak & Oleg Poldin & Maria Yudkevich, 2012. "Peer Effects in Exogenously Formed University Student Groups," HSE Working papers, National Research University Higher School of Economics WP BRP 03/EDU/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  2. B. Cesi & D. Paolini, 2011. "University choice, peer group and distance," Working Paper CRENoS 201101, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  3. Feld, Jan & Zölitz, Ulf, 2014. "Understanding Peer Effects: On the Nature, Estimation and Channels of Peer Effects," Working Papers in Economics, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics 596, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2014.
  4. Susan Biancani & Daniel McFarland, 2013. "Social Networks Research in Higher Education," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, Higher School of Economics, issue 4, pages 85-126.
  5. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 339-375, 05.
  6. Valeeva, Dilyara & Poldin, Oleg & Yudkevich, Maria, 2014. "Student’s social ties and the choice of specialization," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 34(2), pages 80-94.
  7. Ficano, Carlena Cochi, 2012. "Peer effects in college academic outcomes – Gender matters!," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1102-1115.
  8. Ekaterina Krekhovets & Oleg Poldin, 2013. "Students’ Social Media: Formation Factors and Influence on Studies," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, Higher School of Economics, issue 4, pages 127-144.
  9. CESI, Berardino & PAOLINI, dimitri, 2012. "Peer group and distance: when widening university participation is better," CORE Discussion Papers, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) 2012042, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Oleg Poldin & Dilyara Valeeva & Maria Yudkevich, 2013. "How social ties affect peer-group effects: a case of university students," HSE Working papers, National Research University Higher School of Economics WP BRP 15/SOC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  11. Marco Tonello, 2011. "Mechanisms of peer interactions between native and non-native students: rejection or integration?," Working Papers 2011/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  12. Бьянкани С. & Макфарланд Д., 2013. "Значение Социальных Сетей В Высшем Образовании (Пер.С Англ. Н. Микшиной)," Вопросы образования // Educational Studies, НИУ ВШЭ, НИУ ВШЭ, issue 4, pages 85-126.
  13. Román Andrés Zárate, 2012. "Peer Effects, Cooperation and Competition in Human Capital Formation," DOCUMENTOS CEDE, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE 009795, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  14. Stefanescu, Razvan & Dumitriu, Ramona & Nistor, Costel, 2011. "Motivations for the Bessarabian youth to study in Romanian universities," MPRA Paper 41621, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Oct 2011.
  15. Креховец Е. В. & Польдин О. В., 2013. "Социальные Сети Студентов: Факторы Формирования И Влияние На Учёбу," Вопросы образования // Educational Studies, НИУ ВШЭ, НИУ ВШЭ, issue 4, pages 127-144.
  16. Maria De Paola & Francesca Gioia, 2011. "Risk Aversion And Major Choice: Evidence From Italian Students," Working Papers, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) 201107, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  17. Androushchak, Gregory & Poldin, Oleg & Yudkevich, Maria, 2012. "Peer effects in exogenously formed student groups," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 26(2), pages 3-16.
  18. Oleg Poldin & Diliara Valeeva & Maria Yudkevich, 2014. "Friendship And Study Assistance Ties Of University Students," HSE Working papers, National Research University Higher School of Economics WP BRP 37/SOC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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