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Peer effects in sexual initiation: Separating demand and supply mechanisms

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  • Seth Richards‐Shubik

Abstract

Most work on social interactions studies a single, composite effect of interactions within a group. Yet in the case of sexual initiation, there are two distinct social mechanisms—peer‐group norms and partner availability—with separate effects and different potential interventions. Here I develop an equilibrium search and matching model for first sexual partners that specifies distinct roles for these two mechanisms as part of demand and supply. I estimate the model using a national sample of high school students, with data over time on individual virginity status. The results indicate that peer‐group norms have a large effect on the timing of sexual initiation for both boys and girls. Changes in opposite‐gender search behavior (i.e., partner availability) also have a large impact on initiation rates for boys, but not for girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Seth Richards‐Shubik, 2015. "Peer effects in sexual initiation: Separating demand and supply mechanisms," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), pages 663-702, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:quante:v:6:y:2015:i:3:p:663-702
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Atencio & Darwin Cortés & Juan Miguel Gallego & Darío Maldonado, 2015. "School Management and Sexual Behavior of Teenagers," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 012423, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. Darwin Cortés & Carmen Elisa Flórez & Marta Carolina Ibarra & Daniel Martínez & Elvia Vargas Trujillo, 2016. "Educación de la Sexualidad, prácticas docentes y conocimientos de los estudiantes: Una evaluación del Programa de Educación para la Sexualidad y Construcción de Ciudadanía (PESCC)," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 014541, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    3. Fletcher, Jason M. & Polos, Jessica, 2017. "Nonmarital and Teen Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 10833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Timothy Conley & Nirav Mehta & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2015. "Social Interactions, Mechanisms, and Equilibrium: Evidence from a Model of Study Time and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 21418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bennett, Magdalena & Bergman, Peter, 2018. "Better Together? Social Networks in Truancy and the Targeting of Treatment," IZA Discussion Papers 11267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Anton Badev, 2014. "Discrete Games in Endogenous Networks: Theory and Policy," 2014 Meeting Papers 901, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. repec:kap:ijhcfe:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10754-017-9221-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Magdalena Bennett & Peter Leopold S. Bergman, 2018. "Better Together? Social Networks in Truancy and the Targeting of Treatment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6848, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    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
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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