American Economic Review: Vol. 104 No. 7 (July 2014)


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Peer Effects in Program Participation

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Dahl, Gordon B., Katrine V. Løken, and Magne Mogstad. 2014. "Peer Effects in Program Participation." American Economic Review, 104(7): 2049-74.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.7.2049


We estimate peer effects in paid paternity leave in Norway using a regression discontinuity design. Coworkers and brothers are 11 and 15 percentage points, respectively, more likely to take paternity leave if their peer was exogenously induced to take up leave. The most likely mechanism is information transmission, including increased knowledge of how an employer will react. The estimated peer effect snowballs over time, as the first peer interacts with a second peer, the second peer with a third, and so on. This leads to long-run participation rates which are substantially higher than would otherwise be expected.

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Dahl, Gordon B. (U CA, San Diego)
Løken, Katrine V. (U Bergen)
Mogstad, Magne (U College London and Statistics Norway)

JEL Classifications

J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J18: Demographic Economics: Public Policy
K31: Labor Law
M52: Personnel Economics: Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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