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Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education?

Listed author(s):
  • Hahn, Youjin

    ()

    (Monash University)

  • Islam, Asadul

    ()

    (Monash University)

  • Patacchini, Eleonora

    ()

    (Cornell University)

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()

    (Monash University)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10674.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10674
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  1. Shonchoy, Abu S. & Rabbani, Mehnaz, 2015. "The Bangladesh gender gap in education : biased intra-household educational expenditures," IDE Discussion Papers 522, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  2. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Hessami, Zohal & Fischbacher, Urs & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2015. "Academic performance and single-sex schooling: Evidence from a natural experiment in Switzerland," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 123-143.
  3. 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.
  4. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
  5. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers & Yves Zenou, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Social-Network Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 49-95, March.
  6. Ambrus, Attila & Field, Erica, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Scholarly Articles 3200264, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, June.
  8. Dana Burde & Leigh L. Linden, 2013. "Bringing Education to Afghan Girls: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Village-Based Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 27-40, July.
  9. Peter Kuhn & Marie Claire Villeval, 2015. "Are Women More Attracted to Co‐operation Than Men?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(582), pages 115-140, 02.
  10. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
  11. Erica Field & Attila Ambrus, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 881-930, October.
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