Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1259570
 
 

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The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Individual Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health


Robert Bifulco


Syracuse University - Center for Policy Research

Jason M. Fletcher


Yale University - School of Public Health; University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Stephen L. Ross


University of Connecticut - Department of Economics

August 1, 2008


Abstract:     
We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine the effects of classmate characteristics on economic and social outcomes of students. The unique structure of the Add Health allows us to estimate these effects using comparisons across cohorts within schools, and to examine a wider range of outcomes than other studies that have used this identification strategy.

We find that increases in the percent of classmates whose mother is college educated has significant, desirable effects on educational attainment and substance use. We do not find much evidence that the percent of classmates who are black or Hispanic has negative effects on individual outcomes, on average, but increases in the percent black or Hispanic does increase drop out rates among black students.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: Education, Peer Effects, Cohort Study, Substance Abuse

JEL Classification: I21, I19, J13, J15

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Date posted: August 27, 2008 ; Last revised: March 13, 2010

Suggested Citation

Bifulco, Robert and Fletcher, Jason M. and Ross, Stephen L., The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Individual Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health (August 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1259570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1259570

Contact Information

Robert Bifulco
Syracuse University - Center for Policy Research ( email )
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States
Jason M. Fletcher (Contact Author)
Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )
PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States
University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States
Stephen L. Ross
University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )
341 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269
United States
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