2014-04-01Buch DOI: 10.18452/4511
Peer Effects andStudents’ Self-Control
We conducted a multi-wave field experiment to study the interaction of peer effects and selfcontrol among undergraduate students. We use a behavioral measure of self-control based on whether students achieve study related goals they have set for themselves. We find that both self-control and the number of talented friends increase students’ performance. We then set out to test the theoretical prediction of Battaglini, Bénabou and Tirole (2005) that (only) sufficiently self-controlled individuals profit from interactions with peers. We find that peers with high self-control are more likely to connect to others, have a higher overall number of friends and have a higher number of talented friends. Moreover, positive news about self-controlled behavior of their peers increases students’ own perseverance. Hence, our findings are consistent with the model of Battaglini, Bénabou and Tirole. In addition, we find that female students are more likely to have high self-control, but do not outperform male students. One reason for this is that female students have a lower number of talented friends than their male counterparts, thereby profiting less from positive peer effects. and analyze time-varying spillovers. Adjusted for BEI risk premia, our main result suggests that spillovers of inflation expectations increase during times of macroeconomic stress. We document a significant impact of the European sovereign debt crisis on US expectations. The finding contributes to the discussion about a weakening of inflation control by national central banks and speaks in favor of internationally coordinated policy actions, especially during crisis times.
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