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Essays on social networks, participation, and outcomes in education

Essays on social networks, participation, and outcomes in education
Essays on social networks, participation, and outcomes in education
This thesis explores the role of social networks in determining adolescents’ outcomes in schools. The thesis consists of three papers that seek to empirically test how characteristic of friendship networks and peers affect adolescents’ choices and performance in education. The main goal of the first paper is to estimate the effects of ego’s friends age diversity on academic performance. The findings provide evidence that having an age diversified friendship network results in significantly worse academic outcomes. Contrary to the previous research, no evidence is found that having a best friend of a different age, or a group of friends of average age that differs from an individual’s age is associated with worse outcomes in education. This paper addresses concerns about self-selection into networks and unobserved school level differences by using within-school variation and instrumental variable methods. The findings remain robust after the sample is limited to students with no criminal background and those that are in the expected grade for their given age. In the second paper a hypothesis that more interconnected networks (those with high density of friendships) positively impact on adolescents’ school performance due to more scope for norms and sanctions, is tested.

The findings provide evidence that for an individual having a close network during high school results in significantly better academic outcomes. Individuals with friends that know each other are found to be more likely to go to college. This examination addresses concerns about self-selection into networks and unobserved school level differences. Instrumental variable approach is used to investigate the effects of closure on college attendance. The effects of closure on years of schooling are found to persist for both low and high quality networks. The findings remain robust for samples consisting of non-white and white individuals. The last paper takes a closer look at participation in extracurricular activities, a factor that is likely to influence network formation. In this chapter, the role of community composition in determining participation outcomes is examined. This investigation provides evidence suggesting that racial composition of communities affects adolescents’ participation in school extracurricular activities. The main contribution of this chapter is that problems related to sorting within communities and selection into schools, are carefully addressed.
Bulczak, Grzegorz
2eea4f4f-ed42-4ef3-a997-0e61e236596a
Bulczak, Grzegorz
2eea4f4f-ed42-4ef3-a997-0e61e236596a
Wahba, Jackline
03ae9304-c329-40c6-9bfc-d91cfa9e7164
Schluter, Christian
ae043254-4cc4-48aa-abad-56a36554de2b

Bulczak, Grzegorz (2012) Essays on social networks, participation, and outcomes in education. University of Southampton, Economics, Doctoral Thesis, 104pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis explores the role of social networks in determining adolescents’ outcomes in schools. The thesis consists of three papers that seek to empirically test how characteristic of friendship networks and peers affect adolescents’ choices and performance in education. The main goal of the first paper is to estimate the effects of ego’s friends age diversity on academic performance. The findings provide evidence that having an age diversified friendship network results in significantly worse academic outcomes. Contrary to the previous research, no evidence is found that having a best friend of a different age, or a group of friends of average age that differs from an individual’s age is associated with worse outcomes in education. This paper addresses concerns about self-selection into networks and unobserved school level differences by using within-school variation and instrumental variable methods. The findings remain robust after the sample is limited to students with no criminal background and those that are in the expected grade for their given age. In the second paper a hypothesis that more interconnected networks (those with high density of friendships) positively impact on adolescents’ school performance due to more scope for norms and sanctions, is tested.

The findings provide evidence that for an individual having a close network during high school results in significantly better academic outcomes. Individuals with friends that know each other are found to be more likely to go to college. This examination addresses concerns about self-selection into networks and unobserved school level differences. Instrumental variable approach is used to investigate the effects of closure on college attendance. The effects of closure on years of schooling are found to persist for both low and high quality networks. The findings remain robust for samples consisting of non-white and white individuals. The last paper takes a closer look at participation in extracurricular activities, a factor that is likely to influence network formation. In this chapter, the role of community composition in determining participation outcomes is examined. This investigation provides evidence suggesting that racial composition of communities affects adolescents’ participation in school extracurricular activities. The main contribution of this chapter is that problems related to sorting within communities and selection into schools, are carefully addressed.

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More information

Published date: June 2012
Organisations: University of Southampton, Economics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346631
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346631
PURE UUID: b7ac0c42-a77c-4449-81d3-d8f8a688438d
ORCID for Jackline Wahba: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0002-3443

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Date deposited: 26 Feb 2013 15:14
Last modified: 24 May 2019 00:38

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