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Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions

  • Effrosyni Adamopoulou

This paper studies peer group effects on marital decisions. We use data from Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). This database contains detailed information on adolescents’ high school friends as well as their marital behavior later in life. We construct a balanced panel for the years 1995-2002 using the calendar of all past and current relationships of the respondents, which allows us to recover the marital status of each individual and of her friends at any given year. Hence, we are able to analyze how the marital transitions of individuals depend on the marital status of their friends. We use panel data, instrumental variables techniques, and exploit the timing of friendship formation to identify the effect of peers on marital decisions. Our results after controlling for various observable characteristics of individuals and their friends show that peer effects in marital decisions are significant. Robustness checks using former and placebo friends support our results, and indicate that actual peers do matter.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1228.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1228
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  1. Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2007. "Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks," Cahiers de recherche 0705, CIRPEE.
  2. Federico Cingano & Alfonso Rosolia, 2012. "People I Know: Job Search and Social Networks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 291 - 332.
  3. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
  4. Yu Xie & James Raymo & Kimberly Goyette & Arland Thornton, 2003. "Erratum to: “Economic Potential and Entry Into Marriage and Cohabitation”," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages n1-n1, May.
  5. Lorenzo Cappellari & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2011. "Friends’ Networks and Job Finding Rates," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/40, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
  8. Boucher, Vincent & Bramoullé, Yann & Djebbari, Habiba & Fortin, Bernard, 2010. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2010-8, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 27 Feb 2010.
  9. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 7060, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2011. "Peer Effects and Multiple Equilibria in the Risky Behavior of Friends," NBER Working Papers 17088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Marion Leturcq, 2009. "Would you civil union me? Civil unions and taxes in France: Did the reform of income taxation raise the rate of civil unions?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566846, HAL.
  12. Yu Xie & James Raymo & Kimberl Goyette & Arland Thornton, 2003. "Economic potential and entry into marriage and cohabitation," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 351-367, May.
  13. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2010. "Will you “quasi-marry” me? The rise of cohabitation and decline of marriages," Economics Working Papers we1026, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  14. Clark, Andrew E. & Lohéac, Youenn, 2005. ""It Wasn't Me, It Was Them!" - Social Influence in Risky Behavior by Adolescents," IZA Discussion Papers 1573, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2008. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," IZA Discussion Papers 3313, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Hensvik, Lena & Nilsson, Peter, 2010. "Businesses, buddies and babies: social ties and fertility at work," Working Paper Series 2010:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  17. Francesco Billari & Belinda Aparicio Diaz & Thomas Fent & Alexia Prskawetz, 2007. "The "Wedding-Ring"," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(3), pages 59-82, August.
  18. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
  19. Jason M. Fletcher, 2010. "Social interactions and smoking: evidence using multiple student cohorts, instrumental variables, and school fixed effects," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 466-484.
  20. 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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