We study the relationship between network centrality and educational outcomes
using a field experiment in primary schools in Bangladesh. After obtaining information on friendship networks, we randomly allocate students into groups and give them
individual and group assignments. We find that the groups that perform the best are
those whose members have high Katz-Bonacich and key-player centralities. Leaders
are mostly responsible for this effect, while bad apples have little in fluence. Group
members’ network centrality is also important in shaping individual performance. We
show that network centrality captures non-cognitive skills, especially patience and competitiveness.