Peers' influence on political choices: Evidence from random classroom assignments in college
AbstractSocial networks are believed to aÂ§ect individualsâ€™ political views; however, quantifying this eÂ§ect and understanding the channels behind this influence are empirically challenging. This study investigates peer eÂ§ects on political behavior, using a self-collected survey among freshmen from the largest university in Brazil. The identification relies on the random assignment of freshmen to classrooms. We found that a relevant peer influence occurs through classmatesâ€™ political involve- ment, increasing studentsâ€™ political participation, knowledge and moving their ideologies toward the center. Other mechanisms of influence, such as social pres- sure to adopt certain views or reinforcement of oneâ€™s own preferences, were not observed in the data.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series with number 034.
Date of creation: 07 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Postal: Helen Chapman, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-10-20 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-NET-2012-10-20 (Network Economics)
- NEP-POL-2012-10-20 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-10-20 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-URE-2012-10-20 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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