Working Paper No. 645

Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education and Crime

Published: July 5, 2005Pages: 37Keywords: Centrality Measure; Peer Influence, Network Structure, Delinquency; School PerformanceJEL-codes: A14; I21; K42

Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education and Crime Antoni Calvó-Armengol, Eleonora Patacchini and Yves Zenou


This paper studies whether structural properties of friendship networks affect individual outcomes in education and crime. We first develop a model that shows that, at the Nash equilibrium, the outcome of each individual embedded in a network is proportional to her Bonacich centrality measure. This measure takes into account both direct and indirect friends of each individual but puts less weight to her distant friends. Using a very detailed dataset of adolescent friendship networks, we show that, after controlling for observable individual characteristics and unobservable network specific factors, the individual's position in a network (as measured by her Bonacich centrality) is a key determinant of her level of activity. A standard deviation increase in the Bonocich centrality increases the level of individual delinquency by 45% of one standard deviation and the pupil school performance by 34% of one standard deviation.

 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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