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Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates

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  • Bruce Sacerdote

Abstract

This paper uses a unique data set to measure peer effects among college roommates. Freshman year roommates and dormmates are randomly assigned at Dartmouth College. I find that peers have an impact on grade point average and on decisions to join social groups such as fraternities. Residential peer effects are markedly absent in other major life decisions such as choice of college major. Peer effects in GPA occur at the individual room level, whereas peer effects in fraternity membership occur both at the room level and the entire dorm level. Overall, the data provide strong evidence for the existence of peer effects in student outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:681-704.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/00335530151144131
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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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