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Better Together? Social Networks in Truancy and the Targeting of Treatment

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  • Bennett, Magdalena

    (Columbia University)

  • Bergman, Peter

    (Columbia University)

Abstract

Truancy correlates with many risky behaviors and adverse outcomes. We use detailed administrative data on by-class absences to construct social networks based on students who miss class together. We simulate these networks and use permutation tests to show that certain students systematically coordinate their absences. Leveraging a parent-information intervention on student absences, we find spillover effects from treated students onto peers in their network. We show that an optimal-targeting algorithm that incorporates machine-learning techniques to identify heterogeneous effects, as well as the direct effects and spillover effects, could further improve the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the intervention subject to a budget constraint.

Suggested Citation

  • Bennett, Magdalena & Bergman, Peter, 2018. "Better Together? Social Networks in Truancy and the Targeting of Treatment," IZA Discussion Papers 11267, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11267
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    Cited by:

    1. Verstappen, Ksenia, 2018. "Economics of big data: review of best papers for January 2018," MPRA Paper 85520, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social networks; peer effects; education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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