Similarity in Peer College Preferences: New Evidence from Texas

30 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2011

See all articles by Jason M. Fletcher

Jason M. Fletcher

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

Date Written: July 16, 2011

Abstract

In this paper, I use survey data from high school students in Texas to examine the magnitude of peer correlation in college preferences and choices. In this survey, respondents (and their classmates) recorded their preferences for attending specific colleges, and a follow up survey recorded their college enrollment decisions. This paper uses this information to present the first empirical examination of whether individuals who report preferences for “popular” colleges are more likely to attend their preferred college. The rich data set allows the use of often unavailable information such as distance to college, and the construction of the “popularity” variable allows the use of school-level fixed effects. Results indicate that individuals with 10 percentage points more classmates with matching college preferences are 3 percentage points more likely to enroll in their preferred college.

Keywords: Demand for Schooling, Human Capital, Peer Effects, College Enrollment

JEL Classification: I21

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Jason M., Similarity in Peer College Preferences: New Evidence from Texas (July 16, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1944971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1944971

Jason M. Fletcher (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

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