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Self-control and peer groups: An empirical analysis

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  • Battaglini, Marco
  • Díaz, Carlos
  • Patacchini, Eleonora

Abstract

We exploit the exogenous variation in peer groups generated by high school to college transitions to study the theoretical predictions of Battaglini et al.’s (2005) model of self-control in peer groups. We find evidence consistent with the two key predictions of this theory regarding the relationship between an agent's expected level of self-control and the size and composition of his or her social circles: (i) students embedded in social circles have more self-control than those who are alone and their self-control is increasing in the size of their social group; (ii) students’ self-control is, however, a non-monotonic hump-shaped function of the average self-control of their friends.

Suggested Citation

  • Battaglini, Marco & Díaz, Carlos & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2017. "Self-control and peer groups: An empirical analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 240-254.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:134:y:2017:i:c:p:240-254
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.12.018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    2. Bramoullé, Yann & Djebbari, Habiba & Fortin, Bernard, 2009. "Identification of peer effects through social networks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 41-55, May.
    3. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2009. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1239-1267.
    4. Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
    5. Buechel, Berno & Mechtenberg, Lydia & Petersen, Julia, 2014. "Peer Effects and Students’ Self-Control," MPRA Paper 53658, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Battaglini, Marco & Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Self-control in peer groups," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 105-134, August.
    7. Berno Buechel & Lydia Mechtenberg & Julia Petersen, 2014. "Peer Effects and Students’ Self-Control," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-024, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    8. Liu, Xiaodong & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Endogenous peer effects: local aggregate or local average?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 39-59.
    9. Jason M. Fletcher & Partha Deb & Jody L. Sindelar, 2009. "Tobacco Use, Taxation and Self Control in Adolescence," NBER Working Papers 15130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jackson, Matthew O. & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Games on Networks," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Bucciol & Simona Cicognani & Luca Zarri, 2017. "The Social Status-Enhancing Power of Social Ties," Working Papers 04/2017, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    2. Buechel, Berno & Mechtenberg, Lydia & Petersen, Julia, 2017. "Peer effects on perseverance," FSES Working Papers 488, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer effects; Self-control;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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