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Rank, Sex, Drugs, and Crime

Author

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  • Elsner, Benjamin

    () (University College Dublin)

  • Isphording, Ingo E.

    () (IZA)

Abstract

In this paper we show that a student's ordinal rank in a high school cohort is an important determinant of engaging in risky behaviors. Using longitudinal data from representative US high schools, and exploiting idiosyncratic variation in the cohort composition within a school, we find a strong negative effect of a student's rank on the likelihood of smoking, drinking, having unprotected sex, and engaging in physical fights. We further provide suggestive evidence that these results are driven by status concerns and differences in career expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Elsner, Benjamin & Isphording, Ingo E., 2015. "Rank, Sex, Drugs, and Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 9478, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9478
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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp9478.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michela Maria Tincani, 2017. "Heterogeneous Peer Effects and Rank Concerns: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6331, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Michela Tincani, 2017. "Heterogeneous Peer Effects and Rank Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2017-006, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    beliefs; peer effects; ability rank; risky behavior; expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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