Friends or Family? Revisiting the Effects of High School Popularity on Adult Earnings

12 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2013

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 2013

Abstract

Recent evidence has suggested that popularity during high school is linked with wages during mid-life using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. The results were shown to be robust to a large set of individual-level heterogeneity included completed schooling, cognitive ability, and personality measures. This paper revisits this question by first replicating the results using an alternative dataset that is very similar in structure. Like the previous results, the Add Health baseline effects suggest that an additional high school friendship nomination is linked to a 2% increase in earnings around age 30. However, leveraging the unique sibling structure of the Add Health shows that sibling comparisons eliminate any associations between popularity and earnings. The findings suggest that families, rather than friends, may be the cause of the association.

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Jason M., Friends or Family? Revisiting the Effects of High School Popularity on Adult Earnings (July 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19232. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295848

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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