The Diffusion of Academic Achievements: Social Selection and Influence in Student Networks

25 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2015

See all articles by Sofia Dokuka

Sofia Dokuka

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: September 9, 2015

Abstract

Peer group effects show the influence of student social environments on their individual achievements. Traditionally, a social environment is considered by researchers of peer effects as exogenously given. However, significant peers that affect performance are often those that are deliberately chosen. Students might choose their friends among peers with similar academic achievements. A dynamic analysis of student social networks and academic achievements is needed to disentangle social selection and social influence processes in network formation. Using data about the friendship and advice networks of first year undergraduate students, we show that friends tend to assimilate each others’ achievements and choose advisers with similar grades. We explain these results by social segregation based on student performance. The article contributes to the dynamic analysis of student social networks and the understanding of the nature of peer group effects in education.

Keywords: social networks, academic achievements, peer group effects, higher education

JEL Classification: D85, I21, I23

Suggested Citation

Dokuka, Sofia and Valeeva, Diliara and Yudkevich, Maria, The Diffusion of Academic Achievements: Social Selection and Influence in Student Networks (September 9, 2015). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 65/SOC/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2658031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2658031

Sofia Dokuka (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya 20
Moscow, 101000
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

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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