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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. 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.
  2. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2013. "Peer Effects and Multiple Equilibria in the Risky Behavior of Friends," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1130-1149, October.
  3. Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0814, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos, 2010. "Friends' Networks and Job Finding Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 5240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Nezih Guner & Jeremy Greenwood, 2004. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," 2004 Meeting Papers 65, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Bramoullé, Yann & Djebbari, Habiba & Fortin, Bernard, 2007. "Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 2652, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Vincent Boucher & Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2010. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-08, CIRANO.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Clark, Andrew E & Youenn Loheac, 2003. ""It Wasn't Me, It Was Them!" Social Influence in Risky Behaviour by Adolescents," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 44, Royal Economic Society.
  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. 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.
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