Could being popular in high school earn you more money as an adult?
New research suggests that being popular in school may mean that you could earn more as an adult.
Researchers at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) studied a link between the popularity of a school student and how much they earn later on in life. Using data from the long-term Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, researchers looked at high school students that were asked about their friendships in school, and then again about their lives and earnings 35 years later.
In the study, students were asked to nominate three of their best friends from their class. Students that received the highest number of nominations were considered the most popular by the ISER researchers. The students that gave out a high number of nominations were shown to be more outgoing by the researchers.
Results of the study showed that being outgoing didn’t really have any connection to their earnings later on in life, but being popular did. In the popularity range, there was a 10 percent earnings difference between the top five popular kids on the list compared to the bottom five of kids on the popularity list.
Professor Steve Pudney of the study, said the work “emphasized the critical importance of the early development of social skills alongside learning as a basis for economic success in adult life.”
The research also showed that family environment as well as the type and size of a school played a big role in the connection of friendships.