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The Role of Social Networks and Peer Effects in Education Transmission


  • Sebastian Bervoets

    () (CNRS, Greqam)

  • Antoni Calvó-Armengol

    (This author is deceased (Date: 03 Nov 2007))

  • Yves Zenou

    () (Stockholm University, IFN)


We propose a dynastic model in which individuals are born in an educated or uneducated environment that they inherit from their parents. We study the role of social networks on the correlation in the parent-child educational status independent of any parent-child interaction. We show that the network reduces the intergenerational correlation, promotes social mobility and increases the average education level in the population. We also show that a planner that encourages social mobility also reduces social welfare, hence facing a tradeoff between these two objectives. When individuals choose the optimal level of social mobility, those born in an uneducated environment always want to leave their environment while the reverse occurs for individuals born in an educated environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Bervoets & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2012. "The Role of Social Networks and Peer Effects in Education Transmission," AMSE Working Papers 1209, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1209

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jackson, Matthew O. & Zenou, Yves, 2012. "Games on Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 9127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Jackson, Matthew O. & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Games on Networks," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier.

    More about this item


    Social mobility; strong and weak ties; intergenerational correlation; education.;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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