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Fighting Corruption in Education: What Works and Who Benefits?

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  • Oana Borcan
  • Mikael Lindahl
  • Andreea Mitrut

Abstract

We investigate the distributional consequences of a corruption-fighting initiative in Romania targeting the endemic fraud in a high-stakes high school exit exam, which introduced CCTV monitoring of the exam and credible punishment threats for teachers and students. We find that the campaign was effective in reducing corruption and, in particular, that monitoring increased the effectiveness of the punishment threats. Estimating the heterogeneous impact for students of different poverty status we show that curbing corruption led to a worrisome score gap increase between poor and nonpoor students. Consequently, the poor students have reduced chances to enter an elite university.

Suggested Citation

  • Oana Borcan & Mikael Lindahl & Andreea Mitrut, 2017. "Fighting Corruption in Education: What Works and Who Benefits?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 180-209, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:180-209
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150074
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    Cited by:

    1. Puhani, Patrick A. & Yang, Philip, 2020. "Does increased teacher accountability decrease leniency in grading?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 333-341.
    2. Stephen Machin & Matteo Sandi, 2020. "Autonomous Schools and Strategic Pupil Exclusion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(625), pages 125-159.
    3. Dávid-Barrett, Elizabeth & Fazekas, Mihály, 2020. "Anti-corruption in aid-funded procurement: Is corruption reduced or merely displaced?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    4. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra & Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer, 2020. "Entry through the narrow door: The costs of just failing high stakes exams," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    5. Robert Ainsworth & Rajeev Dehejia & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2020. "Information, Preferences, and Household Demand for School Value Added," NBER Working Papers 28267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. M. Shahe Emran & Asadul Islam & Forhad Shilpi, 2020. "Distributional Effects of Corruption When Enforcement is Biased: Theory and Evidence from Bribery in Schools in Bangladesh," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(348), pages 985-1015, October.
    7. Oana Borcan & Mikael Lindahl & Andreea Mitrut, 2017. "Fighting Corruption in Education: What Works and Who Benefits?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 180-209, February.
    8. repec:cep:cverdp:014 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Marina Cavalieri & Massimo Finocchiaro Castro & Calogero Guccio, 2020. "Does the Fish Rot from the Head? Organised Crime and Educational Outcomes in Southern Italy," Working papers 97, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    10. Andris Zimelis, 2020. "Corruption research: A need for an integrated approach," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 288-306, September.
    11. Cabrales, Antonio & Kendall, Ryan & Sánchez, Angel, 2019. "Effective policies and social norms in the presence of driverless cars: Theory and experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 13784, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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