MADISON, Wis. (CBS St. Louis) – Running with the cool kids in high school is beneficial to their financial gains down the road.

A new study based on numbers used from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study shows that popular kids who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957 went on to have more successful careers than people who were not considered cool.

“An increase in the stock of popularity, measured by an additional friendship nomination received in high-school, is associated with about 2% higher wages 35 years later,” the study stated. Researchers followed over 10,000 people.

The popular people ended up earning 10 percent more than their high school peers who moved from the 20th to 80th percentile of popularity, according to The Washington Post.

Researchers determined who was considered popular by whom others considered close friends. They learned that the ones who were popular had come from warm family environments.

Researchers felt that traits that made a student better liked was similar to what made someone successful in the workplace.

They concluded that “social interactions in high school train individual personalities to be socially adequate for the successful performance of their adult roles.”

Researchers told The Washington Post: “Consistent with our view, we interpret our measure of popularity as a measure of the stock of social skills of a particular individual.”

Gabriella Conti of the University of Chicago, Gerrit Mueller of the Institute for Employment Research, and Andrea Galeotti and Stephen Pudney of the University of Essex contributed to the study.


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