Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education

61 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2008

See all articles by Antoni Calvo-Armengol

Antoni Calvo-Armengol

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics; Stockholm University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Abstract

This paper studies whether structural properties of friendship networks affect individual outcomes in education. We first develop a model that shows that, at the Nash equilibrium, the outcome of each individual embedded in a network is proportional to her Katz-Bonacich centrality measure. This measure takes into account both direct and indirect friends of each individual but puts less weight to her distant friends. We then bring the model to the data by using a very detailed dataset of adolescent friendship networks. We show that, after controlling for observable individual characteristics and unobservable network specific factors, the individual's position in a network (as measured by her Katz-Bonacich centrality) is a key determinant of her level of activity. A standard deviation increase in the Katz-Bonacich centrality increases the pupil school performance by more than 7 percent of one standard deviation.

Keywords: centrality measure, peer influence, network structure, school performance

JEL Classification: A14, C31, C72, I21

Suggested Citation

Calvo-Armengol, Antoni and Patacchini, Eleonora and Zenou, Yves, Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3859. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1309101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Antoni Calvo-Armengol (Contact Author)

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Bellaterra
Barcelona, 08193
Spain
+34 93 581 3068 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5501
S-114 85 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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