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Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education

Author

Listed:
  • Calvó-Armengol, Antoni

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Patacchini, Eleonora

    (Cornell University)

  • Zenou, Yves

    (Monash University)

Abstract

This paper studies whether structural properties of friendship networks affect individual outcomes in education. We first develop a model that shows that, at the Nash equilibrium, the outcome of each individual embedded in a network is proportional to her Katz-Bonacich centrality measure. This measure takes into account both direct and indirect friends of each individual but puts less weight to her distant friends. We then bring the model to the data by using a very detailed dataset of adolescent friendship networks. We show that, after controlling for observable individual characteristics and unobservable network specific factors, the individual's position in a network (as measured by her Katz-Bonacich centrality) is a key determinant of her level of activity. A standard deviation increase in the Katz-Bonacich centrality increases the pupil school performance by more than 7 percent of one standard deviation.

Suggested Citation

  • Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 3859, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3859
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    school performance; centrality measure; peer influence; network structure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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