Peer effects, immigration, and homophily: Evidence from US adolescents


Wang, Shanshan & Xu, Yilan (2014). Peer effects, immigration, and homophily: Evidence from US adolescents. 2014 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Immigration of different ethnicity moving to the United States is a common phenomenon over the history. The various composition of immigrant status and race in high school among adolescents is a reflection of the U.S. society. The peer effects with homogeneous friends are frequently mentioned in the literature. In our paper, we consider the heterogeneous immigrant background among US adolescents. This paper categorizes four immigration statuses for adolescents in the U.S. between 1994-1995. We also tracked their record around 2008. Individuals with similar background are likely to make friends because of homophily, a tendency for persons to be closer with peers with similarity, which has impact on adolescents' outcomes. We use the Add Health data to study how the peer effects, when considering different immigrant status and ethnicity, affect education outcomes in the short run and psychological health in the long run. For the friendship information, we match the friends using the Add Health friend nomination data. The purpose of this paper is to study when taking the immigrant status and ethnicity into consideration and setting different weights and homophily index on an individual's different friends, how the peer effects will affect the outcomes. Using a modified linear-in-mean model, we also try to figure out whether endogenous and exogenous peer effects can be identified separately.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2014 Add Health Users Conference


Wang, Shanshan
Xu, Yilan

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID