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DOES WHOM YOU KNOW MATTER? UNRAVELING THE INFLUENCE OF PEERS' NETWORK ATTRIBUTES ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

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This paper examines how students' network size, distance, prestige, and connections to influential individuals impact academic performance. Larger and closer networks facilitate information exchange, but may also increase distractions that decrease productivity. We resolve this ambiguity using administrative data from a business school that features random assignment of students to multiple overlapping sets of peers, allowing us to calculate degree, closeness, eigenvector, and Katz‐Bonacich centrality for each node. We find that increasing closeness centrality within the network negatively affects student performance measured by grade point average, suggesting that synergy reduction and information processing costs outweigh benefits from greater information access. (JEL I23, L14, L23)
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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