speaker David Y. Yang, Harvard University and NBER time Sept. 25,Friday.09:00a.m.- 10:30a.m. Beijing Time
place Microsoft Teams Online Conference Room

Economics Seminar (2020-13)

Topic: Data-intensive Innovation and the State: Evidence from AI Firms in China

Speaker: David Y. Yang, Harvard University and NBER

Time: Sept. 25,Friday.09:00a.m.- 10:30a.m. Beijing Time

Location: Microsoft Teams Online Conference Room 


This paper investigates how the spatial layout of a peer network affects academic performance using a field experiment conducted in a Chinese high school. In each classroom, students are sorted into study groups with balanced academic and gender compositions in the beginning of a semester. Each group contains six students sitting in two rows of three. In the treated groups, the top two students ranked by previous test scores are assigned to sit in the middle of each row. We find that the treatment effect is heterogeneous. It benefits the bottom two students but harms the middle two students. The negative effect to the two middle-score students, however, disappears when they are sitting on the same side. Our results suggest that the spatial layout of a group can have a significant impact on learning outcomes.


David Yang is an Assistant Professor of Economics. His research focuses on political economy, behavioral and experimental economics, economic history, and cultural economics. In particular, David studies the forces of stability and forces of changes in authoritarian regimes, drawing lessons from historical and contemporary China. David received a B.A. in Statistics and B.S. in Business Administration from University of California at Berkeley, and PhD in Economics from Stanford.

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