Choice of Specialization: Do Peers Matter?

32 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2013 Last revised: 29 Apr 2015

See all articles by Oleg Poldin

Oleg Poldin

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Diliara Valeeva

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Maria Yudkevich

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: Decebmer 30, 2013

Abstract

Social influence is an important factor in learning and decision making. We estimate peer influence on student choice of specialization using data on undergraduate students of a Russian university. Information about individual social ties has been gathered from a questionnaire survey. We show that specialization choice is significantly influenced by friends as well as by study partners. The strongest effect is produced by friends who are study partners and those who have similar academic achievements. Mutual friendship ties have a stronger influence on the choice than non-mutual ones. Also, the decision is affected by classmates with similar academic achievement. The results allow us to better understand the mechanisms of peer effects in the specialization choice.

Keywords: peer effects, higher education, student achievement, social networks

JEL Classification: I23, I24

Suggested Citation

Poldin, Oleg and Valeeva, Diliara and Yudkevich, Maria, Choice of Specialization: Do Peers Matter? (Decebmer 30, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2373245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2373245

Oleg Poldin

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Diliara Valeeva

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) ( email )

Amsterdam Roeterseilandcampus
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018 WV
Netherlands

Maria Yudkevich (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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