The Impact of Peer Personality on Academic Achievement

Bart Golsteyn*, Arjan Non, Ulf Zölitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Web of Science)


This paper provides evidence of a novel facet of peer effects by showing that peer personality influences academic achievement. We exploit random assignment of students to university sections and find that students perform better in the presence of persistent peers. The impact of peer persistence is enduring, as students exposed to persistent peers at the beginning of their studies continue to achieve higher grades in subsequent periods. The personality peer effects that we document are distinct from other observable peer characteristics and suggest that peer personality traits affect human capital accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1052-1099
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number4
Early online date1 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

JEL classifications

  • i21 - Analysis of Education
  • i24 - Education and Inequality
  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"

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