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Should you compete or cooperate with your schoolmates?

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  • Massimiliano Bratti
  • Daniele Checchi
  • Antonio Filippin

Abstract

This paper presents empirical evidence from the Programme for International Student Assessment 2003 survey on the role of students' attitudes towards competition and cooperation in mathematical literacy achievement. While individual competitive attitudes are positively correlated with test scores, the reverse occurs when considering the aggregation of individual attitudes. Similarly, while individual cooperative attitudes exhibit a negative correlation with test scores, the opposite is true in the aggregate. We provide an interpretation of this 'fallacy of composition' based on public good production and incentives to free riding, which is prevented by social norms held valid in a small or homogenous group.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09645292.2011.585021
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 275-289

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:19:y:2011:i:3:p:275-289

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Related research

Keywords: cooperation; competition; PISA; student attitudes;

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References

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Education Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-In-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Discussion Papers 04-027, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Bettinger, Eric & Slonim, Robert, 2007. "Patience among children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 343-363, February.
  3. Ludger Woesmann, 2003. "Schooling Resources, Educational Institutions and Student Performance: the International Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 117-170, 05.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ammermüller,Andreas, 2005. "Educational Opportunities and the Role of Institutions," ROA Research Memorandum 004, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  6. Ammermüller, Andreas, 2005. "Educational Opportunities and the Role of Institutions," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Bigoni, Maria & Fort, Margherita & Nardotto, Mattia & Reggiani, Tommaso, 2011. "Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition among University Students," IZA Discussion Papers 5844, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," CESifo Working Paper Series 3037, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Román Andrés Zárate, 2012. "Peer Effects, Cooperation and Competition in Human Capital Formation," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 009795, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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