School-Based Peer Effects and Juvenile Behavior
UCSD Economics Discussion Paper No. 97-21
29 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 1998
Date Written: September 1997
We use a sample of tenth-graders drawn from the National Education Longitudinal Survey (NELS) to test for peer-group influences on the propensity to engage in five different activities: drug use, alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking, church going, and the probability that the student will drop out of school in the future. We find strong evidence of peer-group effects at the school level for all activities analyzed. These effects remain after controlling for several personal and school characteristics, family background variables, and several measures of parental behavior and involvement in the youth's daily life. Tests for bias due to endogenous school choice yield mixed results. We find evidence of endogeneity bias for two of the five activities analyzed (drug use and alcohol drinking). On the whole, these results confirm the findings of previous research concerning interaction effects at the neighborhood level.
JEL Classification: I20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation