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Which Peers Matter: How Social Ties Affect Peer-group Effects

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Listed:
  • Oleg Poldin

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Diliara Valeeva

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Maria Yudkevich

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

Abstract

We study how the achievements of university students are influenced by the characteristics and achievements of peers in individuals’ social networks. Defining peer group in terms of friendship and study partner ties enables us to apply a network regression model and thereby disentangle the influence of peers’ performance from that of peers’ background. We find significant positive peer effects via the academic achievements of friends and study partners. Students’ grades increase with the abilities of study partners, who may or may not also be friends; no such effect is observed for friends who are not also study partners. Additionally, the effects of the abilities of other classmates are found to be insignificant. The results support the claim that peer influence acts mainly through knowledge-sharing channels between students who are connected by social ties.

Suggested Citation

  • Oleg Poldin & Diliara Valeeva & Maria Yudkevich, 2016. "Which Peers Matter: How Social Ties Affect Peer-group Effects," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(4), pages 448-468, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reihed:v:57:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s11162-015-9391-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-015-9391-x
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    2. Oleg V. Poldin & Tania P. Simoes & Marcelo Knobel & Maria M. Yudkevich, 2015. "Estimation of Peer Effects with Predicted Social Ties: Evidence from Two Universities in Brazil and Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 30/EDU/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Verena Tiefenbeck & Lorenz Goette & Kathrin Degen & Vojkan Tasic & Elgar Fleisch & Rafael Lalive & Thorsten Staake, 2018. "Overcoming Salience Bias: How Real-Time Feedback Fosters Resource Conservation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(3), pages 1458-1476, March.

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