American Economic Review: Vol. 97 No. 3 (June 2007)
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Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake
Cipollone, Piero, and Alfonso Rosolia. 2007. "Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake." American Economic Review, 97(3): 948-965.
After an earthquake hit Southern Italy in 1980, young men from certain towns were exempted from compulsory military service. We show that the exemption raised high-school-graduation rates of boys by more than 2 percentage points. We do this by comparing high-school-graduation rates of young exempt men and older nonexempt men from the least damaged areas and men of the same age groups from nearby towns that were not hit by the quake. Similar comparisons show that graduation rates of young women in the affected areas also increased. Since in Italy women are not subject to the draft, the findings suggest the presence of spillover effects. (JEL I21, J13)
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