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Why are some more peer than others? Evidence from a longitudinal study of social networks and individual academic performance

Why are some more peer than others? Evidence from a longitudinal study of social networks and individual academic performance

Lomi, Alessandro, Snijders, Tom A.B., Steglich, Christian E.G. and Torlo, Vanina Jasmine (2011) Why are some more peer than others? Evidence from a longitudinal study of social networks and individual academic performance. Social Science Research, 40 (6). pp. 1506-1520. ISSN 0049-089X (doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2011.06.010)

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Abstract

Studies of peer effects in educational settings confront two main problems. The first is the presence of endogenous sorting which confounds the effects of social influence and social selection on individual attainment. The second is how to account for the local network dependencies through which peer effects influence individual behavior. We empirically address these problems using longitudinal data on academic performance, friendship, and advice seeking relations among students in a full-time graduate academic program. We specify stochastic agent-based models that permit estimation of the interdependent contribution of social selection and social influence to individual performance. We report evidence of peer effects. Students tend to assimilate the average performance of their friends and of their advisors. At the same time, students attaining similar levels of academic performance are more likely to develop friendship and advice ties. Together, these results imply that processes of social influence and social selection are sub-components of a more general a co-evolutionary process linking network structure and individual behavior. We discuss possible points of contact between our findings and current research in the economics and sociology of education.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published online: 23 July 2011. [2] Published in print: November 2011. [3] Published as: Social Science Research, (2011), Vol. 40, (6), pp. 1506–1520.
Uncontrolled Keywords: peer effects, stochastic actor-oriented models, social networks, network dynamics, education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Systems Management & Strategy
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:18
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/7385

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