Northwestern Events Calendar


Seminar in Econometrics

When: Tuesday, April 2, 2024
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CT

Where: Kellogg Global Hub, 1410, 2211 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Kayla Johnson  

Group: Department of Economics: Seminar in Econometrics

Category: Academic


Qinyou Hu (Rice): Breaking Down Bullying: Empathy, Social Networks, and Adolescents 
Abstract: This paper examines the formation of a specific non-cognitive skill – empathy – and its role in determining bullying behavior with a focus on social networks. The analysis centers on a parent-directed empathy-fostering intervention, which successfully increased empathy levels and reduced bullying among students. To disentangle the mechanisms underlying these findings, I develop and estimate a structural model of empathy development, network formation, and bullying decisions. The analysis reveals that 32% of the observed reduction in bullying is attributed to empathy-induced alterations in social networks. Policy counterfactuals show that social network information is valuable. Notably, targeting students based on popularity can lead to up to a 7.5% further reduction in bullying compared to targeting students randomly. Moreover, targeting bullies’ friends is more effective than targeting bullies directly. This insight holds promise for refining the efficacy of anti-bullying initiatives, which often focus more on bullies, and highlights the potential of reshaping social networks to mitigate violent behavior among adolescents. 

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