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When the Cat is Near, the Mice Won't Play: The Effect of External Examiners in Italian Schools

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  • Marco Bertoni
  • Giorgio Brunello
  • Lorenzo Rocco

Abstract

Using a natural experiment designed by the Italian national test administrator (INVALSI) to monitor test procedures in Italian primary schools, this paper shows that the presence of an external examiner who monitors test procedures has both a direct and an indirect effect on the measured performance of monitored classes and schools. The direct effect is the difference in the test performance between classes of the same school with and without external examiners. The indirect effect is instead the difference in performance between un-monitored classes in a school with an external examiner and un-monitored classes in schools without external monitoring. We find that having an external examiner in the class reduces the proportion of correct answers by 5.5 to 8.6 percent compared to classes in schools with no external monitor, and by 1.2 to 1.9 percent compared to un-monitored classes of the same school. The size of the overall effect of external supervision varies significantly across regions and it is highest in Southern Italy.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Bertoni & Giorgio Brunello & Lorenzo Rocco, 2012. "When the Cat is Near, the Mice Won't Play: The Effect of External Examiners in Italian Schools," ISER Discussion Paper 0845, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0845
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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2012/DP0845.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Hinnerich, Björn Tyrefors & Vlachos, Jonas, 2017. "The impact of upper-secondary voucher school attendance on student achievement. Swedish evidence using external and internal evaluations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-14.
    2. repec:eee:econom:v:200:y:2017:i:2:p:344-362 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Santiago Pereda Fernández, 2016. "A new method for the correction of test scores manipulation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1047, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. 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.
    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. Erich Battistin & Michele De Nadai & Daniela Vuri, 2014. "Counting Rotten Apples: Student Achievement and Score Manipulation in Italian Elementary Schools," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2014-05, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    8. Tommaso Agasisti & Patrizia Falzetti, 2017. "Between-classes sorting within schools and test scores: an empirical analysis of Italian junior secondary schools," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 64(1), pages 1-45, March.
    9. Tommaso Agasisti & Veronica Minaya, 2018. "Evaluating the Stability of School Performance Estimates for School Choice: Evidence for Italian Primary Schools," Working papers 67, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    10. Gian Paolo Barbetta & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2018. "Multigrading and Child Achievement," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def065, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    11. Joshua D. Angrist & Erich Battistin & Daniela Vuri, 2014. "In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Mezzogiorno," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2014-04, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    12. Marco Paccagnella & Paolo Sestito, 2014. "School cheating and social capital," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 367-388, August.
    13. Erich Battistin, 2016. "How manipulating test scores affects school accountability and student achievement," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 295-295, September.
    14. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Siniver, Erez & Tobol, Yossi, 2014. "The Effect of Behavioral Codes and Gender on Honesty," IZA Discussion Papers 7946, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Claudio Lucifora & Marco Tonello, 2016. "Monitoring and sanctioning cheating at school: What works? Evidence from a national evaluation program," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def051, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    17. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:216-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. 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).
    19. 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.
    20. Checchi, Daniele & De Paola, Maria, 2017. "The Effect of Multigrade Classes on Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills: Causal Evidence Exploiting Minimum Class Size Rules in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 11211, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Siniver, Erez & Tobol, Yossef, 2014. "Roll a die and tell a lie – What affects honesty?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 153-172.
    22. Tommaso Agasisti, 2013. "Competition Among Italian Junior-Secondary Schools: A Variance-Decomposition Empirical Analysis," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(1), pages 17-42, March.
    23. 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.
    24. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:32-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Gloria Di Caprera, 2016. "Ready to learn: the role of childcare attendance on children's school outcomes in Italy," CEIS Research Paper 378, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 09 May 2016.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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