Does Who You Know Matter? Unraveling the Influence of Student Networks on Academic Performance
39 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2014 Last revised: 16 Oct 2016
Date Written: September 19, 2016
This paper examines the impact of students' network size, distance, prestige and connections to influential individuals on academic performance. Larger and closer networks facilitate information exchange, but may also increase distractions that decrease productivity. To resolve this ambiguity, we use administrative data from a business school setting that features both randomly assignment of students to multiple overlapping sets of peers, allowing us to calculate degree, closeness, eigenvector and Katz-Bonacich centrality for each node, as well as a cleanly defined measure of academic achievement. We find that increasing eigenvector centrality within the network has a negative effect on student performance as measured by grade point average, suggesting that synergy reduction and information processing costs outweigh benefits from greater information access.
Keywords: Peer effects, Social networks, Management education, India
JEL Classification: I23, L14, L23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation