IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejapp/v9y2017i4p216-49.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Italian Mezzogiorno

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • Erich Battistin
  • Daniela Vuri

Abstract

Instrumental variables (IV) estimates show strong class-size effects in Southern Italy. But Italy's Mezzogiorno is distinguished by manipulation of standardized test scores as well as by economic disadvantage. IV estimates suggest small classes increase manipulation. We argue that score manipulation is a consequence of teacher shirking. IV estimates of a causal model for achievement as a function of class size and score manipulation show that class-size effects on measured achievement are driven entirely by the relationship between class size and manipulation. These results illustrate how consequential score manipulation can arise even in assessment systems with few accountability concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist & Erich Battistin & Daniela Vuri, 2017. "In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Italian Mezzogiorno," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 216-249, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:216-49
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20160267
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/app.20160267
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5410
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=Tr5sm2nF5_-uhcTjYhISrcI8aRnXQ4J7
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=Q-O4F93P6bYXm6xisa_CGJAnEcPs6IdK
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090.
    2. Thomas S. Dee & Will Dobbie & Brian A. Jacob & Jonah Rockoff, 2019. "The Causes and Consequences of Test Score Manipulation: Evidence from the New York Regents Examinations," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 382-423, July.
    3. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2013. "When the cat is near, the mice won't play: The effect of external examiners in Italian schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 65-77.
    4. Battistin, Erich & De Nadai, Michele & Vuri, Daniela, 2017. "Counting rotten apples: Student achievement and score manipulation in Italian elementary Schools," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 200(2), pages 344-362.
    5. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2006. "Addressing Absence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 117-132, Winter.
    6. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Marte Rønning, 2008. "Quasi‐experimental Estimates of the Effect of Class Size on Achievement in Norway," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 663-693, December.
    7. Rebecca Diamond & Petra Persson, 2016. "The Long-term Consequences of Teacher Discretion in Grading of High-stakes Tests," NBER Working Papers 22207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    9. Rosario Maria Ballatore & Margherita Fort & Andrea Ichino, 2018. "Tower of Babel in the Classroom: Immigrants and Natives in Italian Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(4), pages 885-921.
    10. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
    11. Andrew Postlewaite, 2010. "Social Norms and Preferences, Chapter for the Handbook for Social Economics, Edited by J. Benhabib, A. Bisin and M. Jackson," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    12. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "Test Scores, Subjective Assessment, and Stereotyping of Ethnic Minorities," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 535-576.
    13. David Sims, 2008. "A strategic response to class size reduction: Combination classes and student achievement in California," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 457-478.
    14. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa & Valeria Pupo, 2014. "Absenteeism in the Italian Public Sector: The Effects of Changes in Sick Leave Policy," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 337-360.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mariagrazia Cavallo & Giuseppe Russo, 2020. "Reading Performance and Math Performance of Second-Generation Children in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 554, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    2. Checchi, Daniele & De Paola, Maria, 2018. "The effect of multigrade classes on cognitive and non- cognitive skills. Causal evidence exploiting minimum class size rules in Italy✰," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 235-253.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:216-49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.