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Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education?

Author

Listed:
  • Hahn, Youjin

    () (Monash University)

  • Islam, Asadul

    () (Monash University)

  • Patacchini, Eleonora

    () (Cornell University)

  • Zenou, Yves

    () (Monash University)

Abstract

We randomly assign more than 6,000 students from 150 primary schools in Bangladesh to work on math assignments in one of three settings: individually, in groups with random schoolmates, or in groups with friends. The groups consist of four people and are balanced by average cognitive ability and ability distribution. While the achievement of male students is not affected by the group assignment, low-ability females assigned to groups outperform low-ability females working individually. The treatment is particularly effective when low-ability females study with friends. To rule out sorting effects, we show that random groups with identical compositions to those of friendship groups do not produce similar effects. Our study thus documents that placing students into study groups with their friends may improve learning, especially for low-ability females.

Suggested Citation

  • Hahn, Youjin & Islam, Asadul & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 10674, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Karthik Muralidharan & Ketki Sheth, 2016. "Bridging Education Gender Gaps in Developing Countries: The Role of Female Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 269-297.
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    Cited by:

    1. Beugnot, Julie & Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Gender and peer effects on performance in social networks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 207-224.
    2. Cools, Angela & Fernández, Raquel & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2019. "Girls, Boys, and High Achievers," CEPR Discussion Papers 13754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Cools, Angela & Fernández, Raquel & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2019. "Girls, Boys, and High Achievers," IZA Discussion Papers 12314, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Angela Cools & Raquel Fernandez & Eleonora Patacchini, 2019. "Girls, Boys, and High Achievers," Working Papers 2019-032, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social interactions; education; gender; learning; friendship;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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