Does your college roommate affect your GPA?

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This paper uses a unique data set to measure peer effects among college roommates. Freshman year roommates and dormmates are randomly assigned at Dartmouth College. I find that peers have an impact on grade point average and on decisions to join social groups such as fraternities. Residential peer effects are markedly absent in other major life decisions such as choice of college major. Peer effects in GPA occur at the individual room level, whereas peer effects in fraternity membership occur both at the room level and the entire dorm level. Overall, the data provide strong evidence for the existence of peer effects in student outcomes.

Source: “Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates” from Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

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