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Institutional Ethos, Peers and Individual Outcomes

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  • David Rosenblum
  • Preston Hillman
  • David J. Zimmerman

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Rosenblum & Preston Hillman & David J. Zimmerman, 2004. "Institutional Ethos, Peers and Individual Outcomes," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-68, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wilehe:68
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    File URL: http://sites.williams.edu/wpehe/files/2011/06/DP-68.pdf
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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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    Cited by:

    1. Yakusheva, Olga & Kapinos, Kandice & Weiss, Marianne, 2011. "Peer effects and the Freshman 15: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 119-132, March.
    2. Michael Kremer & Dan Levy, 2008. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use among College Students," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 189-206, Summer.

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