Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use

J Health Econ. 2006 Mar;25(2):214-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2005.02.001. Epub 2005 Jun 16.


Swedish cross-sectional survey data on young individuals aged 12-18-year-old was used to analyse school-class based peer effects in binge drinking, smoking and illicit-drug use. Significant and positive peer effects were found for all three activities. By introducing school/grade fixed effects, the estimated peer effects were identified by variation in peer behaviour across school-classes within schools and grades, implying that estimates were not biased due to endogenous sorting of students across schools. Further, endogeneity bias due to bi-directionality of peer effects was found for binge drinking and smoking. Controlling for this source of endogeneity resulted in even stronger peer effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • United States