Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/177169
Authors: 
Kießling, Lukas
Radbruch, Jonas
Schaube, Sebastian
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers No. 11365
Publisher: 
Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), Bonn
Abstract: 
In many natural environments, carefully chosen peers influence individual behavior. In this paper, we examine how self-selected peers affect performance in contrast to randomly assigned ones. We conduct a field experiment in physical education classes at secondary schools. Students participate in a running task twice: first, the students run alone, then with a peer. Before the second run,we elicit preferences for peers. We experimentally vary the matching in the second run and form pairs either randomly or based on elicited preferences. Self-selected peers improve individual performance by .14-.15 SD relative to randomly assigned peers. While self-selection leads to more social ties and lower performance differences within pairs, this altered peer composition does not explain performance improvements. Rather, we provide evidence that self-selection has a direct effect on performance and provide several markers that the social interaction has changed.
Subjects: 
field experiment
self-selection
peer effects
social comparison
peer assignment
JEL: 
C93
D01
I20
J24
L23
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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