Counting Rotten Apples: Student Achievement and Score Manipulation in Italian Elementary Schools

41 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2014

See all articles by Erich Battistin

Erich Battistin

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Michele De Nadai

University of Padova

Daniela Vuri

University of Rome Tor Vergata; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

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Abstract

We derive bounds for the average of math and language scores of elementary school students in Italy correcting for pervasive score manipulation. Information on the fraction of manipulated data is retrieved from a natural experiment that randomly assigns external monitors to schools. We show how bounds can be tightened imposing restrictions on the measurement properties of the manipulation indicator developed by the government agency charged with test administration and data collection. We additionally assume that manipulation is more likely in those classes at the lower end of the distribution of true scores. Our results show that regional rankings by academic performance are reversed once manipulation is properly taken into account.

Keywords: corrupt sampling, measurement error, nonparametric bounds, partial identification

JEL Classification: C14, C31, C81, I21, J24

Suggested Citation

Battistin, Erich and De Nadai, Michele and Vuri, Daniela, Counting Rotten Apples: Student Achievement and Score Manipulation in Italian Elementary Schools. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8405, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2492432

Erich Battistin (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Michele De Nadai

University of Padova ( email )

Daniela Vuri

University of Rome Tor Vergata ( email )

Via di Tor Vergata
Rome, Lazio 00133
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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