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Should You Compete or Cooperate with Your Schoolmates?

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  • Bratti, Massimiliano

    ()
    (University of Milan)

  • Checchi, Daniele

    ()
    (University of Milan)

  • Filippin, Antonio

    ()
    (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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3599.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3599

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Keywords: PISA; competition; cooperation; student attitudes;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Wößmann, Ludger, 2003. "Schooling resources, educational institutions and student performance: The international evidence," Munich Reprints in Economics 19661, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Bettinger, Eric & Slonim, Robert, 2007. "Patience among children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 343-363, February.
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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. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, . "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  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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