In sub-Saharan Africa, economic aspirations often conflict with aspirations to follow traditional social obligations. We test whether adolescents are influenced by friends when deciding which to prioritize. To do so, we elicit the preferences and perceived competition between economic and social aspirations of 553 Ugandan students, as well as their friendship ties. Using characteristics of nonoverlapping friends as instrumental variables, we identify strong peer effects. They are stronger with more interaction among friends, or when the information shared is more relevant or more important relative to other signals. We find no peer effect on the perceived competition between aspirations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-78
Number of pages52
JournalEconomic Development and Cultural Change
Issue number1
Early online date1 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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