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Should you compete or cooperate with your schoolmates?

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Author Info

  • Antonio Filippin
  • Massimiliano Bratti

    (DEAS, University of Milan)

  • Daniele Checchi

    (University of Milan)

Abstract

Building upon some education studies finding that cooperative behaviour in class yields better achievements among students, this paper presents a simple model showing that free riding incentives lead to an insufficient degree of cooperation between schoolmates, which in turn decreases the overall achievement. A cooperative learning approach may instead emerge when competitive behaviour is negatively evaluated by schoolmates, especially when the class is more homogeneous in terms of students’ characteristics (e.g., ability). Empirical evidence supporting our model is found using the 2003 wave of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey on students’ literacy levels. A competitive learning approach has a positive individual return (higher in comprehensive educational systems), while student performance increases with the average cooperative behaviour, particularly in tracked educational systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitá degli Studi di Milano in its series UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics with number unimi-1074.

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Date of creation: 11 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bep:unimip:unimi-1074

Note: oai:cdlib1:unimi-1074
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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 04-026, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  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," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Eric Bettinger & Robert Slonim, 2006. "Patience among children," Artefactual Field Experiments 00043, The Field Experiments Website.
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Cited by:
  1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  2. 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).
  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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