SPPA Adjunct Research Professor and Instructor Antoine Dedewanou recently had a research paper, “Peer-induced beliefs regarding college participation,” published in Economics of Education Review.
We study the heterogeneity of peer effects on the formation of beliefs regarding college participation. We present a structural model of learning in friendship networks. We show that the model is identified and we present a Bayesian estimation procedure. We estimate the model using data on teenagers’ beliefs regarding college participation, controlling for preferences and academic achievement. While we find that, on average, friends’ beliefs account for about 8% of the updating process, we also find strong heterogeneity among schools and individuals. In particular, we find substantial unobserved individual heterogeneity (ranging from close to 0 to more than 75%), which casts doubt on the efficiency of network-targeted public policies.