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Friendship Relations in the School Class and Adult Economic Attainment

Author

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  • Galeotti, Andrea

    () (California Institute of Technology)

  • Mueller, Gerrit

    () (ZEW Mannheim)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Galeotti, Andrea & Mueller, Gerrit, 2005. "Friendship Relations in the School Class and Adult Economic Attainment," IZA Discussion Papers 1682, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1682
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 419-436, November.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 207-234.
    3. 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.
    4. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pekkarinen, Tuomas, 2005. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: Evidence on the Role of the Tracking Age from a Finnish Quasi-Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 1897, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Víctor Elías & Lucas Ronconi & Julio Elías, 2007. "Discriminación y redes sociales: Popularidad entre los estudiantes de bachillerato en Argentina," Research Department Publications 3239, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Hübler, Olaf, 2006. "The Nonlinear Link between Height and Wages: An Empirical Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 2394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Babcock, Phillip, 2008. "From Ties to Gains? Evidence on Connectedness and Human Capital Acquisition," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6fw1m0x0, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    5. Julio Elías & Víctor Elías & Lucas Ronconi, 2007. "Discrimination and Social Networks: Popularity among High School Students in Argentina," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3313, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. Hübler, Olaf, 2009. "The nonlinear link between height and wages in Germany, 1985-2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 191-199, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    friendship ties; social capital; earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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