Crime without punishment: An update review of the determinants of cheating among university students
AbstractThe issue of cheating is a serious problem since it can call the efficiency of an education system into question. Furthermore, it is a devaluing factor in the country's stock of human capital. A student who copies is a free-rider, in the sense that he/she gains a higher grade than that merited by the actual amount of effort expended on study. In addition, it makes it impossible for teachers to fully achieve the goal of effective dissemination to, and acquisition of knowledge by, students. This paper conceptually and methodologically systematizes the phenomenon of academic fraud. Distinct forms of theorizing illegal behaviours are examined, adapting Becker’s crime model (1968) to cheating. A systematic review of the literature has allowed certain direct determinants of the probability of “copying”, not yet investigated, to be identified, viz: 1) the ‘advantages’, in terms of a higher grade, that students see themselves as gaining from fraudulent behaviour in comparison with not indulging in it; 2) the breakdown of students’ grades by nature of discipline - “reasoning” versus “cramming”; and 3) the existence or otherwise of a code of honour in universities. As a result, this paper proposes a new, ‘expanded’, econometric specification for estimating cheating (i.e., the probability of “copying”) based on an analysis of the expected cost-benefit, according to Becker’s model.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series FEP Working Papers with number 191.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
crime; cheating; university; human capital;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
- D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
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