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Rational Ignorance in Education: A Field Experiment in Student Plagiarism

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  • Thomas S. Dee
  • Brian A. Jacob

Abstract

Plagiarism appears to be a common problem among college students, yet there is little evidence on the effectiveness of interventions designed to minimize plagiarism. This study presents the results of a field experiment that evaluated the effects of a web-based educational tutorial in reducing plagiarism. We found that assignment to the treatment group substantially reduced the likelihood of plagiarism, particularly among student with lower SAT scores who had the highest rates of plagiarism. A followup survey suggests that the intervention reduced plagiarism by increasing student knowledge rather than by increasing the perceived probabilities of detection and punishment.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/47/2/397
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 397-434

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:ii:1:p:397-434

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  2. Gary Galles & Philip E. Graves & Robert L. Sexton & Surrey M. Walton, 2003. "Monitoring Costs and Tolerance Levels for Classroom Cheating," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 713-719, October.
  3. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  4. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
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Cited by:
  1. Hani Mansour & Daniel I. Rees, 2011. "The Effect of Prenatal Stress on Birth Weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1108, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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