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Friendship Relations in the School Class and Adult Economic Attainment

  • Galeotti, Andrea

    ()

    (California Institute of Technology)

  • Mueller, Gerrit

    ()

    (ZEW Mannheim)

We analyze the impact of adolescents' friendship relations in their final-year class of high school on subsequent labor market success. Based on a typology of network positions we locate each student within the social system of the school class as either: an isolate, a sycophant, a broker or a receiver. These positions identify individuals' social standing within the group of classmates and proxy for their interpersonal behavior and social competencies. We offer empirical evidence that differential social standing in adolescence predicts large and persistent earnings disparities over the entire life course. The estimated wage premia and penalties do not appear to be substantially confounded by measures of family and school resources, and materialize largely independent of differences in cognitive abilities, grade rank in class, personality traits or friends' characteristics. A moderate share of the earnings inequalities is mediated by differential post-secondary human and social capital investment. From a conceptual point of view, we contribute an application of egocentered network methods within conventional labor economic survey research.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1682.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1682
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  1. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  3. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  4. John M. Barron & Bradley T. Ewing & Glen R. Waddell, 2000. "The Effects Of High School Athletic Participation On Education And Labor Market Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 409-421, August.
  5. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
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