In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Italian Mezzogiorno

60 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2016

See all articles by Joshua D. Angrist

Joshua D. Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Erich Battistin

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Daniela Vuri

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

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

Instrumental variables (IV) estimates show strong class size effects in Southern Italy. But Italy's Mezzogiorno is distinguished by manipulation of standardized test scores as well as by economic disadvantage. IV estimates suggest small classes increase manipulation. We argue that score manipulation is a consequence of teacher shirking. IV estimates of a causal model for achievement as function of class size and score manipulation show that class size effects on measured achievement are driven entirely by the relationship between class size and manipulation. These results show how consequential score manipulation can arise even in assessment systems with few accountability concerns.

Keywords: Education production, Regression Discontinuity, Test scores

JEL Classification: C26, C31, I21, I28, J24

Suggested Citation

Angrist, Joshua and Battistin, Erich and Vuri, Daniela, In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Italian Mezzogiorno (November 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11666. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2877271

Joshua Angrist (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Erich Battistin

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

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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