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The Effects of Racial and Extracurricular Friendship Diversity on Achievement

Anil Nathan ()

No 816, Working Papers from College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper finds the effect of having friends of a similar race and who are involved in similar activities. It explores data which allows a peer group to be defined openly through self nominations. Using a strategy that corrects for the endogeneity of peer effects by instrumenting using variables at the "grade within school" level, it is shown that friendship diversity can help whites increase achievement. Although not much significance was found with other races, most of the strategies pushed towards the direction of racial diversity aiding achievement. Regarding extracurricular activities, it is found that there is a benefit in having friends in common individual academic activities, conditional on the respondent only belonging to academic or scholastic clubs. There are insignificant effects in having friends in common sports, conditional on the respondent only participating in sports.

Keywords: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health; Add Health; friendship formation; returns to diversity; scholastic achievement; school redistribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J15 I2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab and nep-ure
Date: 2008-12
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http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/Nathan_DiversityAchievement.pdf (application/pdf)

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