The impact of peer personality on academic achievement

Bart H.H. Golsteyn, Arjan Non, Ulf Zölitz

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20 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper provides evidence of a novel facet of peer effects by showing that peer personality influences academic achievement.We exploit random assignment of students to university sections and find that students perform better in the presence of persistent peers. The impact of peer persistence is enduring, as students exposed to persistent peers at the beginning of their studies continue to achieve higher grades in subsequent periods. The personality peer effects that we document are distinct from other observable peer characteristics and suggest that peer personality traits affect human capital accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1052-1099
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Cologne, the University of Munich, Maastricht University, Utrecht University, the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods (Bonn), the University of Bamberg, the University of Zurich, HEC (Faculty of Business and Economics) Lausanne, the University of Reading, the University of Sheffield, the Tinbergen Institute (Amsterdam), RWTH (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule) Aachen University, Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (The Hague), and conference participants at the briq/IZA (Institute for Labor Economics) workshop on socioemotional skills, the second IZA education workshop, the workshop on Measurement of Individual Heterogeneity and Its Use in Economic Models (Bonn), the European Economic Association (Cologne), the European Society for Population Economics (Antwerp), the International Workshop on Applied Economics of Education(Catanzaro),theInstitutefortheStudyofLabor/SocietyofLaborEconomists(Bucham Ammersee), the Economics of Education workshop (Maastricht), the Royal Economic Society (Sussex), the European Association of Labour Economists (Lyon), and the Society of Labor Economists (Toronto). Golsteyn acknowledges financial support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO Vidi grant 452-16-006). We thank Maximilian Mähr, Sophia Wagner, and Jeffrey Yusof for providing outstanding research assistance and the Department of Education Research and Development for sharing the data. Information on data access is provided as supplementary material online.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.


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