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Should you compete or cooperate with your schoolmates?

  • Massimiliano Bratti
  • Daniele Checchi
  • Antonio Filippin

This paper presents empirical evidence from the Programme for International Student Assessment 2003 survey on the role of students' attitudes towards competition and cooperation in mathematical literacy achievement. While individual competitive attitudes are positively correlated with test scores, the reverse occurs when considering the aggregation of individual attitudes. Similarly, while individual cooperative attitudes exhibit a negative correlation with test scores, the opposite is true in the aggregate. We provide an interpretation of this 'fallacy of composition' based on public good production and incentives to free riding, which is prevented by social norms held valid in a small or homogenous group.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09645292.2011.585021
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 275-289

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:19:y:2011:i:3:p:275-289
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  1. Wößmann, Ludger, 2003. "Schooling resources, educational institutions and student performance: The international evidence," Munich Reprints in Economics 19661, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1415, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  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. 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).
  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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