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Be As Careful Of The Company You Keep As Of The Books You Read. Peer Effects In Education And On The Labor Market

  • Giacomo DeGiorgi

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

In this paper we present a novel identification strategy for the analysis of social interactions and we shed light on the effect of peer behavior in the choice of college major. Using a newly constructed dataset, we are able to identify the endogenous effect of peers on such decisions. Results show that, indeed, students are more likely to choose a major when many of thier peers make the same choice. We also provide evidence on skills mismatch, entry wages and occupation. Peer effects are found to be strong enough to divert students from majors in which they have a relative ability advantage. When this happens, students have worse academic performances, earn lower entry wages and are more likely to end up in a job that does not match their skills and expectations.

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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 07-054.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:07-054
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