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Institutional Ethos, Peers and Individual Outcomes

  • David Rosenblum
  • Preston Hillman
  • David J. Zimmerman

In this paper, we present estimates of roommate and institution based peer effects. Using data from the College & Beyond survey, the Freshman survey, and phonebook data that allows us to identify college roommates - we estimate models of students' political persuasion and intellectual engagement. The evidence suggests that a student's roommate's political sentiments have some impact on their own political views later in life. We also implement a cluster based analysis that attempts to answer the question: how would a student's outcomes have changed if they'd attended a very different school? Our findings suggest that student outcomes are, indeed, sensitive to the school they attend. Similar students attending schools that have a decidedly different "ethos" differ in important ways post-college. Institutional peer effects seem to have a powerful effect on student outcomes.

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File URL: http://sites.williams.edu/wpehe/files/2011/06/DP-68.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education with number DP-68.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wil:wilehe:68
Contact details of provider: Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: 413 597 2476
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Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
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  1. Gordon Winston & David Zimmerman, 2004. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 395-424 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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