Peer Effects Among Swimmers

26 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2015

See all articles by Shoko Yamane

Shoko Yamane

Kinki University

Ryohei Hayashi

Kagoshima National College of Technology

Date Written: October 2015


We develop a novel identification strategy and examine various aspects of peer effects using swimming data. We find that the performance of adjacent competitors positively influences swimmers' performances. In particular, swimmers are influenced by slower‐lane peers, suggesting that being chased improves one's performance. We use absenteeism data to directly compare the performances of swimmers with and without peers. We have found that swimmers swim faster with peers swimming behind them than when swimming alone, but that they swim slower with peers swimming ahead. Finally, we find that observability is a key determinant of peer effects, by comparing freestyle and backstroke competitions.

Keywords: Online data, swimming

JEL Classification: J44, L83

Suggested Citation

Yamane, Shoko and Hayashi, Ryohei, Peer Effects Among Swimmers (October 2015). The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 117, Issue 4, pp. 1230-1255, 2015. Available at SSRN: or

Shoko Yamane (Contact Author)

Kinki University ( email )

Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka 577-8502
United States

Ryohei Hayashi

Kagoshima National College of Technology ( email )

1460-1 Shinkou Hayato-cho
Kirishima City, 899-5193

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