Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education?

40 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017

See all articles by Youjin Hahn

Youjin Hahn

Yonsei University

Asad Islam

Monash University - Department of Economics

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics; Stockholm University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Abstract

We randomly assign more than 6,000 students from 150 primary schools in Bangladesh to work on math assignments in one of three settings: individually, in groups with random schoolmates, or in groups with friends. The groups consist of four people and are balanced by average cognitive ability and ability distribution. While the achievement of male students is not affected by the group assignment, low-ability females assigned to groups outperform low-ability females working individually. The treatment is particularly effective when low-ability females study with friends. To rule out sorting effects, we show that random groups with identical compositions to those of friendship groups do not produce similar effects. Our study thus documents that placing students into study groups with their friends may improve learning, especially for low-ability females.

Keywords: social interactions, education, gender, learning, friendship

JEL Classification: I25, J16, O12

Suggested Citation

Hahn, Youjin and Islam, Asadul and Patacchini, Eleonora and Zenou, Yves, Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10674. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2949110

Youjin Hahn (Contact Author)

Yonsei University ( email )

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Asadul Islam

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Monash University
Caulfield East, Victoria
Australia
+61399032783 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://users.monash.edu/~asaduli/

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5501
S-114 85 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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