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

58 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2016

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)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

We derive bounds on the distribution of math and language scores of elementary school students in Italy correcting for pervasive manipulation. A natural experiment that randomly assigns external monitors to schools is used to deal with endogeneity of manipulation as well as possible misclassification of the manipulation status. Bounds are obtained from properties of the statistical model used to detect classes with manipulated scores, and from restrictions on the relationship between manipulation and true scores. Our results show that score distributions are heavily affected by manipulating behavior, with regional rankings by academic performance being reversed once manipulation is taken into account.

Keywords: Measurement error, Non-parametric bounds, Partial identification, Score manipulation

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 (November 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11667, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2877272

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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