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Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults

  • Sandra E. Black

    (Department of Economics, UCLA, IZA and NBER)

  • Paul J. Devereux

    (Department of Economics,UCD, CEPR and IZA)

  • Kjell G. Salvanes

    (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics, IZA and CEE)

A variety of public campaigns, including the “Just Say No” campaign of the 1980s and 1990s that encouraged teenagers to “Just Say No to Drugs”, are based on the premise that teenagers are very susceptible to peer influences. Despite this, very little is known about the effect of school peers on the long-run outcomes of teenagers. This is primarily due to two factors: the absence of information on peers merged with long-run outcomes of individuals and, equally important, the difficulty of separately identifying the role of peers. This paper uses data on the population of Norway and idiosyncratic variation in cohort composition within schools to examine the role of peer composition in 9th grade on longer-run outcomes such as IQ scores at age 18, teenage childbearing, postcompulsory schooling educational track, adult labor market status, and earnings. We find that outcomes are influenced by the proportion of females in the grade, and these effects differ for men and women. Other peer variables (average age, average mother’s education) have little impact on the outcomes of teenagers.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201024.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201024.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 13 May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201024
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  1. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, 07.
  2. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Victor Lavy & Analía Schlosser, 2007. "Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School," NBER Working Papers 13292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Francis Kramarz & Stephen Machin & Amine Ouazad, 2009. "What Makes a Test Score? The Respective Contributions of Pupils, Schools and Peers in Achievement in English Primary Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0102, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  5. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 7043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Andreas Ammermueller & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer effects in European primary schools: evidence from PIRLS," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25534, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Ammermüller, Andreas & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Eric D. Gould & Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman, 2009. "Does Immigration Affect the Long-Term Educational Outcomes of Natives? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1243-1269, October.
  9. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2008. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," IZA Discussion Papers 3452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Elizabeth Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," NBER Working Papers 13663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kang, Changhui, 2007. "Classroom peer effects and academic achievement: Quasi-randomization evidence from South Korea," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 458-495, May.
  12. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  13. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2009. "The Good, the Bad and the Average: Evidence on the Scale and Nature of Ability Peer Effects in Schools," NBER Working Papers 15600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
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