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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)

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.

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
Date: 2018-02
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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