What makes you popular at school? What are the labor market returns to popularity? We investigate these questions using an objective measure of popularity derived from sociometric theory: the number of friendship nominations received from schoolmates, interpreted as a measure of early accumulation of personal social capital. Our econometric model of friendship formation and labor market outcomes allows for partial observation of networks, and provides new evidence on the impact of early family environment on popularity. We estimate that moving from the 20th to 80th percentile of the high school popularity distribution yields a 10 percent wage premium 40 years later.
Journal of Human Resources
Volume and page numbers
48 , 1072 -1094
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