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Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom

  • Giacomo De Giorgi
  • Michele Pellizzari

Little is known about the economic mechanisms leading to the high level of clustering in behavior commonly observed in the data. We present a model where agents can interact according to three distinct mechanisms, and we derive testable implications which allow us to distinguish between the proposed mechanisms. In our application we study students' performance and we find that a mutual insurance mechanism is consistent with the data. Such a result bears important 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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19202.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari, 2014. "Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(579), pages 917-953, 09.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19202
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