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Social Interactions and Schooling Decisions

  • Rafael Lalive
  • Alejandra Cattaneo

The aim of this paper is to study whether schooling choices are affected by social interactions. Such social interactions may be important because children enjoy spending time with other children or parents learn from other parents about the ability of their children. Identification is based on a randomized intervention that grants a cash subsidy encouraging school attendance among a sub-group of eligible children within small rural villages in Mexico. Results indicate that (i) the eligible children tend to attend school more frequently, (ii) but also the ineligible children acquire more schooling when the subsidy is introduced in their local village, (iii) social interactions are economically important, and (iv) they may arise due to changes in parents’ perception of their children’s ability.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1787.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1787
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  1. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Social Learning from Private Experiences: The Dynamics of the Selection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 443-458, 04.
  2. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  4. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2004. "Incentives to Learn," NBER Working Papers 10971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lalive, Rafael, 2003. "Social Interactions in Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 803, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2004. "An evaluation of the performance of regression discontinuity design on PROGRESA," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3386, The World Bank.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2002. "The Social Multiplier," NBER Working Papers 9153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
  9. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
  10. Paul Gertler, 2004. "Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Child Health? Evidence from PROGRESA's Control Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 336-341, May.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
  12. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  14. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-75, October.
  15. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  16. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  17. Manski, C.F., 1992. "Identification Problems in the Social Sciences," Working papers 9217, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  18. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  19. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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