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SOCIAL TIES OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: EVIDENCE FROM A LONGITUDINAL SURVEY IN RUSSIA

Student friendship networks can be considered as social capital, which is known to be a very useful resource during university and after it. Several empirical studies have examined static models of student behaviour in social networks. In this study we analyse the dynamic changes of student social connections. We use original longitude data of student social ties from one Russian university. Data was collected within the framework of a research project of the International Research Laboratory for Institutional Analysis of Economic Reforms. To investigate factors influencing the evolution of social ties during university probit regressions were tested. We found that students with similar characteristics such as gender and academic achievement are more likely to become friends and continue to be friends. Both studying in the same group and living in a dormitory increase the likelihood of being friends. We also found a transitivity effect. We observe a positive effect of having common friend on friendship ties. We also notice a positive link between reciprocity and friendship stability.