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Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom

Author

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  • De Giorgi, Giacomo

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Pellizzari, Michele

    () (University of Geneva)

Abstract

There is a large literature on social interactions and still little is known about the economic mechanisms leading to the high level of clustering in behavior that is so commonly observed in the data. In this paper we present a model in which agents are allowed to interact according to three distinct mechanisms, and we derive testable implications on the mean and the variance of the outcomes within and across groups. The empirical tests allow us to distinguish which mechanism(s) generates the observed patterns in the data. In our application we study the performance of undergraduate students and we find that social interactions take the form of mutual insurance. Such a result bears crucial policy implications for all those situations in which social interactions are important, from teamwork to class formation in education and co-authorship in academic research.

Suggested Citation

  • De Giorgi, Giacomo & Pellizzari, Michele, 2011. "Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom," IZA Discussion Papers 5624, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5624
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    Cited by:

    1. Edmark, Karin & Frölich, Markus & Wondratschek, Verena, 2014. "Sweden's school choice reform and equality of opportunity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 129-142.
    2. Wang, Chunchao & Zhang, Chenglei & Ni, Jinlan, 2015. "Social network, intra-network education spillover effect and rural–urban migrants' wages: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 156-168.
    3. ITOH Ryo & NAKAJIMA Kentaro, 2014. "Impact of Supply Chain Network Structure on FDI: Theory and evidence," Discussion papers 14027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-275, April.
    5. Timothy Conley & Nirav Mehta & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2015. "Social Interactions, Mechanisms, and Equilibrium: Evidence from a Model of Study Time and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 21418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Maria Masood, 2015. "Local versus Foreign: A Microeconomic Analysis of Cultural Preferences," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 15051, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    7. Benjamin Elsner & Ingo E. Isphording, 2017. "A Big Fish in a Small Pond: Ability Rank and Human Capital Investment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 787-828.
    8. De Giorgi, Giacomo & Frederiksen, Anders & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2016. "Consumption Network Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 11332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Marco Tonello, 2011. "Mechanisms of peer interactions between native and non-native students: rejection or integration?," Working Papers 2011/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    10. Lucifora, Claudio & Tonello, Marco, 2012. "Students' Cheating as a Social Interaction: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in a National Evaluation Program," IZA Discussion Papers 6967, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Bart H.H. Golsteyn & Arjan Non & Ulf Zölitz, 2017. "The impact of peer personality on academic achievement," ECON - Working Papers 269, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    12. Marco Tonello, 2016. "Peer effects of non-native students on natives’ educational outcomes: mechanisms and evidence," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 383-414, August.
    13. Anton Badev, 2014. "Discrete Games in Endogenous Networks: Theory and Policy," 2014 Meeting Papers 901, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social interactions; peer effects; teamwork;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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