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What Should I Aspire to? Peer Effects in Adolescents’ Friendship Networks

Rik Habraken, Arjan Verschoor, Ben d’Exelle
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In sub-Saharan Africa, economic aspirations often conflict with aspirations to follow traditional social obligations. We test whether adolescents are influenced by friends when deciding which one to prioritize. To do so, we elicit the preferences and perceived competition between economic and social aspirations of 533 Ugandan students, as well as their friendship ties.

Using characteristics of non-overlapping friends, or when the information shared is more relevant, or more important relative to other signals. We find no peer effect on the perceived competition between aspirations