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School cheating and social capital

Author

Listed:
  • Marco Paccagnella

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Paolo Sestito

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

In this paper we propose and validate cheating in standardized tests as a new indirect measure of social capital. Given the low-stakes nature of most of the tests examined here, we interpret the widespread presence of cheating as a signal of limited trustin central education authorities. Cheating is negatively correlated with several social capital proxies in the local environment where a school is located (the municipality or the province), even controlling for area-wide differences in social capital and for a number of features of the local environment. When distinguishing between different kinds of social capital � contrasting universalistic and particularistic social values (along the lines of de Blasio, Scalise and Sestito, forthcoming) � cheating appears to be negatively correlated only with measures of universalistic social values (while the correlation of cheating with particularistic social values, if any, is positive). We also document a number of empirical regularities in cheating behavior: (i) within classes student homogeneity is associated with higher cheating (Lucifora and Tonello, 2012); (ii) the presence of external inspectors greatly reduces cheating (Bertoni, Brunello and Rocco, 2013), and to a greater extent in low social capital environments; (iii) in primary schools, cheating is more pervasive in smaller classes; (iv) and a larger share of �local� teachers, or of teachers with a permanent contract, is generally associated with higher levels of cheating.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Paccagnella & Paolo Sestito, 2014. "School cheating and social capital," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 952, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_952_14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shanker Satyanath & Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "Bowling for Fascism: Social Capital and the Rise of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany, 1919-33," Working Papers 703, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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    4. 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.
    5. Guido de Blasio & Diego Scalise & Paolo Sestito, 2014. "Universalism vs. particularism: a round trip from sociology to economics," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 212, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877.
    7. Ernst Fehr, 2009. "On The Economics and Biology of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 235-266, 04-05.
    8. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
    9. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    10. Lucifora, Claudio & Tonello, Marco, 2012. "Students' Cheating as a Social Interaction: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in a National Evaluation Program," IZA Discussion Papers 6967, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    12. Giuseppe Albanese & Guido de Blasio & Paolo Sestito, 2013. "Trust and preferences: evidence from survey data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 911, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    13. Barbieri, Gianna & Rossetti, Claudio & Sestito, Paolo, 2011. "The determinants of teacher mobility: Evidence using Italian teachers’ transfer applications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1430-1444.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masci, Chiara & Ieva, Francesca & Agasisti, Tommaso & Paganoni, Anna Maria, 2016. "Does class matter more than school? Evidence from a multilevel statistical analysis on Italian junior secondary school students," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 47-57.
    2. Giuseppe Albanese & Guido Blasio & Paolo Sestito, 2016. "My parents taught Me. Evidence on the family transmission of values," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 571-592, April.
    3. Lucifora, Claudio & Tonello, Marco, 2015. "Cheating and social interactions. Evidence from a randomized experiment in a national evaluation program," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 45-66.
    4. Tommaso Agasisti & Francesca Ieva & Anna Maria Paganoni, 2017. "Heterogeneity, school-effects and the North/South achievement gap in Italian secondary education: evidence from a three-level mixed model," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 26(1), pages 157-180, March.
    5. Carla Altobelli & Gaetano Fausto Esposito, 2014. "Capitale fiduciario e sviluppo a livello regionale: un’analisi esplorativa del ruolo del capitale civico e morale," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(3), pages 5-39.
    6. Bracco, E. & De Paola, M. & Green, C.P., 2015. "Long lasting differences in civic capital: Evidence from a unique immigration event in Italy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 160-173.
    7. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:121-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ylenia Brilli & Marco Tonello, 2015. "Rethinking the crime reducing effect of education? Mechanisms and evidence from regional divides," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1008, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    9. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:32-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Pasqualino Montanaro & Paolo Sestito, 2014. "The quality of Italian education: a comparison between the international and the national assessments," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 218, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cheating; social capital;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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