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From Ties to Gains? Evidence on Connectedness and Human Capital Acquisition


  • Philip Babcock


This paper uses micro†level data on social networks in middle and secondary schools to estimate effects of connectedness on education attainment outcomes. The analysis addresses concerns about unobserved neighborhood and school†level heterogeneity by using within†school variation between grade cohorts to identify effects of connectedness. Main findings include that being part of a more connected cohort within a given secondary or middle school is associated with significantly higher years of schooling attained and higher probability of having attended college 7 years later.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Babcock, 2008. "From Ties to Gains? Evidence on Connectedness and Human Capital Acquisition," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 379-409.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:v:2:i:4:y:2008:p:379-409
    DOI: 10.1086/596554

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
    2. Alan Krueger & Diane Whitmore, 1999. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Working Papers 806, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. repec:fth:prinin:427 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Landini & Natalia Montinari & Paolo Pin & Marco Piovesan, 2014. "Friendship Network in the Classroom: Parents Bias and Peer Effects," Discussion Papers 14-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    2. Jason Fletcher, 2013. "Social Interactions And College Enrollment: Evidence From The National Education Longitudinal Study," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 762-778, October.
    3. Gee, Laura K. & Jones, Jason J. & Fariss, Christopher J. & Burke, Moira & Fowler, James H., 2017. "The paradox of weak ties in 55 countries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 362-372.
    4. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:29-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross & Yuxiu Zhang, 2013. "The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition," NBER Working Papers 19215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Landini, Fabio & Montinari, Natalia & Pin, Paolo & Piovesan, Marco, 2016. "Friendship network in the classroom: Parents bias on peer effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 56-73.
    7. Gabriella Conti & Andrea Galeotti & Gerrit Müller & Stephen Pudney, 2013. "Popularity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 1072-1094.
      • Conti, Gabriella & Galeotti, Andrea & Mueller, Gerrit & Pudney, Stephen, 2009. "Popularity," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-03, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
      • Gabriella Conti & Andrea Galeotti & Gerrit Mueller & Stephen Pudney, 2012. "Popularity," NBER Working Papers 18475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Lester Lusher, 2016. "College Better: Parimutuel Betting Markets as a Commitment Device and Monetary Incentive," Natural Field Experiments 00561, The Field Experiments Website.
    9. Anna-Elisabeth Thum & Miroslav Beblavy, 2014. "Do Acquaintances and Friends Make Us Learn?: Social Capital and Lifelong Learning in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 673, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    10. Waddell, Glen R., 2010. "Gender and the Influence of Peer Alcohol Consumption on Adolescent Sexual Activity," IZA Discussion Papers 4880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Oleg Poldin & Diliara Valeeva & Maria Yudkevich, 2014. "Friendship And Study Assistance Ties Of University Students," HSE Working papers WP BRP 37/SOC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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