Choice of specialization: do peers matter?

O. Poldin, D. Valeeva, M. Yudkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social influence is an important factor in learning and decision-making. We estimate peer influence on student choice of specialization using data on undergraduate students of a Russian university. Information about individual social ties has been gathered from a questionnaire survey. We show that specialization choice is significantly influenced by friends as well as by study partners. The strongest effect is produced by friends who are study partners and those who have similar academic achievements. Reciprocal friendship ties have a stronger influence on the choice than nonreciprocal ones. Also, the decision is affected by classmates with similar academic achievement. The results allow us to better understand the mechanisms of peer effects in the specialization choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4728-4740
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number44
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • higher education
  • peer effects
  • social networks
  • specialization choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Choice of specialization: do peers matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this