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 University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2011-26.
Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Connecticut 341 Mansfield Road, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Peer Effects; Friendship Networks; Adolescent Health; Smoking; Drinking; Cohort Study;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross, 2012. "Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents," NBER Working Papers 18253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
- I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-02-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2012-02-15 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-EDU-2012-02-15 (Education)
- NEP-HEA-2012-02-15 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2012-02-15 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-URE-2012-02-15 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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