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The Impact of Self-Selection on Performance

Author

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  • Kiessling, Lukas

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)

  • Radbruch, Jonas

    () (IZA)

  • Schaube, Sebastian

    () (University of Bonn)

Abstract

In many natural environments, carefully chosen peers influence individual behavior. In this paper, we examine how self-selected peers affect performance in contrast to randomly assigned ones. We conduct a field experiment in physical education classes at secondary schools. Students participate in a running task twice: first, the students run alone, then with a peer. Before the second run,we elicit preferences for peers. We experimentally vary the matching in the second run and form pairs either randomly or based on elicited preferences. Self-selected peers improve individual performance by .14-.15 SD relative to randomly assigned peers. While self-selection leads to more social ties and lower performance differences within pairs, this altered peer composition does not explain performance improvements. Rather, we provide evidence that self-selection has a direct effect on performance and provide several markers that the social interaction has changed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiessling, Lukas & Radbruch, Jonas & Schaube, Sebastian, 2018. "The Impact of Self-Selection on Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 11365, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11365
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jiang, Lingqing, 2020. "Splash with a teammate: Peer effects in high-stakes tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 165-188.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social comparison; peer effects; self-selection; field experiment; peer assignment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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