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The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition

Author

Listed:
  • Jason M. Fletcher

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Stephen L. Ross

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Yuxiu Zhang

    (Yale University)

Abstract

This paper examines the demographic pattern of friendship links among youth and the impact of those patterns on own educational outcomes using the friendship network data in the Add Health. We develop and estimate a reduced form matching model to predict friendship link formation and identify the parameters based on across-cohort, within school variation in the “supply” of potential friends. We find novel evidence showing that small increase in the share of students with college-educated mothers raises the likelihood of friendship links among students with high maternal education, and that small increase in the share of minority students increases the level of racial homophily in friendship patterns. We then use the predicted friendship links from the matching model in an instrumental variable analysis, and find positive effects of friends’ high socioeconomic status, as measured by parental education, on own GPA outcomes among girls. The GPA effects are likely driven by science and English grades,and through non-cognitive factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross & Yuxiu Zhang, 2013. "The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition," Working papers 2013-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2013-31
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Alena Bicakova & Stepan Jurajda, 2014. "The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp504, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Giovanni Facchini & Eleonora Patacchini & Max F. Steinhardt, 2015. "Migration, Friendship Ties, and Cultural Assimilation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 619-649, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Friendship Formation; Grades; Cohort Study; Peer Effects; Non-Cognitive Effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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