Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/192909
Authors: 
Elsner, Benjamin
Isphording, Ingo Eduard
Zölitz, Ulf
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper No. 300
Abstract: 
This paper studies how a student's ordinal achievement rank affects performance and specialization choices in university. We exploit data from a setting where students are randomly assigned to teaching sections and find that students with a higher rank in their section achieve higher grades, become more likely to graduate, and are more likely to choose related follow-up courses and majors. These effects are stronger for men who, in contrast to women, respond to a higher rank with an increase in their study effort. Our results highlight that social comparisons with peers can have lasting effects on students' careers.
Subjects: 
Rank
social comparisons
higher education
peer effects
JEL: 
I21
J16
J31
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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