The Impact of Self-Selection on Performance
Lukas Kiessling (),
Jonas Radbruch () and
Sebastian Schaube ()
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Sebastian Schaube: University of Bonn
No 11365, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
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.
Keywords: social comparison; peer effects; self-selection; field experiment; peer assignment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D01 I20 J24 L23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 70 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-edu, nep-exp, nep-hrm, nep-lma and nep-ure
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