Students' Cheating as a Social Interaction: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in a National Evaluation Program

50 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2012

See all articles by Claudio Lucifora

Claudio Lucifora

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marco Tonello

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Abstract

We analyze students' cheating behavior during a national evaluation test. We model the mechanisms that trigger cheating interactions between students and show that, when monitoring is not sufficiently accurate, a social multiplier may magnify the effects on students' achievements. We exploit a randomized experiment, which envisaged the presence of an external inspector in the administration and marking of the tests, to estimate a structural (endogenous) social multiplier in students' cheating. The empirical strategy exploits the Excess-Variance approach (Graham, 2008). We find a strong amplifying role played by social interactions within classrooms: students' cheating behaviors more than double the class average test scores results. The effects are found to be larger when students are more homogeneous in terms of parental background characteristics and social ties.

Keywords: social multiplier, students' cheating, randomized experiment

JEL Classification: C31, D62, I21

Suggested Citation

Lucifora, Claudio and Tonello, Marco, Students' Cheating as a Social Interaction: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in a National Evaluation Program. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6967. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2170655

Claudio Lucifora (Contact Author)

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ( email )

Department of Economics and Finance
Largo Gemelli, 1
20123 Milano
Italy
+39 027 234 2525 (Phone)
+39 027 234 2781 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marco Tonello

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

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