School cheating and social capital
AbstractIn this paper we propose and validate cheating in standardized tests as a new indirect measure of social capital. Given the low-stakes nature of most of the tests examined here, we interpret the widespread presence of cheating as a signal of limited trustin central education authorities. Cheating is negatively correlated with several social capital proxies in the local environment where a school is located (the municipality or the province), even controlling for area-wide differences in social capital and for a number of features of the local environment. When distinguishing between different kinds of social capital – contrasting universalistic and particularistic social values (along the lines of de Blasio, Scalise and Sestito, forthcoming) – cheating appears to be negatively correlated only with measures of universalistic social values (while the correlation of cheating with particularistic social values, if any, is positive). We also document a number of empirical regularities in cheating behavior: (i) within classes student homogeneity is associated with higher cheating (Lucifora and Tonello, 2012); (ii) the presence of external inspectors greatly reduces cheating (Bertoni, Brunello and Rocco, 2013), and to a greater extent in low social capital environments; (iii) in primary schools, cheating is more pervasive in smaller classes; (iv) and a larger share of “local” teachers, or of teachers with a permanent contract, is generally associated with higher levels of cheating.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 952.
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
cheating; social capital;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-03-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2014-03-08 (Education)
- NEP-SOC-2014-03-08 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-URE-2014-03-08 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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