Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating
AbstractWe develop an algorithm for detecting teacher cheating that combines information on unexpected test score fluctuations and suspicious patterns of answers for students in a classroom. Using data from the Chicago Public Schools, we estimate that serious cases of teacher or administrator cheating on standardized tests occur in a minimum of 4-5 percent of elementary school classrooms annually. Moreover, the observed frequency of cheating appears to respond strongly to relatively minor changes in incentives. Our results highlight the fact that incentive systems, especially those with bright line rules, often induce behavioral distortions such as cheating. Statistical analysis, however, may provide a means of detecting illicit acts, despite the best attempts of perpetrators to keep them clandestine.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9413.
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Jacob, Brian A. and Steven D. Levitt. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation Of The Prevalence And Predictors Of Teacher Cheating," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2003, v118(3,Aug), 843-878.
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Other versions of this item:
- Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation Of The Prevalence And Predictors Of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877, August.
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-01-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2003-01-05 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-URE-2003-01-05 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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