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Cheating and Incentives: Learning from a Policy Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Cesar Martinelli

    () (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Susan W. Parker

    () (Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE))

  • Ana Cristina PeÌ rez-Gea

    () (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM))

  • Rodimiro Rodrigo

    () (SecretariÌ a de Hacienda y CreÌ dito PuÌ blico, MeÌ xico)

Abstract

We use a database generated by a policy intervention that incentivized learning as measured by standardized exams to investigate empirically the relationship between cheating by students and cash incentives to students and teachers. We adapt methods from the education measurement literature to calculate the extent of cheating, and show that cheating is more prevalent under treatments that provide monetary incentives to students (versus no incentives, or incentives only to teachers), both in the sense of a larger number of cheating students per classroom and in the sense of more cheating relations per classroom. We also provide evidence of learning to cheat, with both the number of cheating students per classroom and the average number of cheating relations increasing over the years under treatments that provide monetary incentives to students.

Suggested Citation

  • Cesar Martinelli & Susan W. Parker & Ana Cristina PeÌ rez-Gea & Rodimiro Rodrigo, 2015. "Cheating and Incentives: Learning from a Policy Experiment," Working Papers 1058, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1058
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    2. Uri Gneezy & Stephan Meier & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "When and Why Incentives (Don't) Work to Modify Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
    3. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2010. "Teacher Incentives," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 205-227, July.
    6. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Delinquent Networks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 34-61, March.
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    9. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "A Little Now for a Lot Later: A Look at a Texas Advanced Placement Incentive Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
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    11. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough or Don't Pay at All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810.
    12. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
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    14. 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).
    15. Wim J. van der Linden & Leonardo Sotaridona, 2006. "Detecting Answer Copying When the Regular Response Process Follows a Known Response Model," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 31(3), pages 283-304, September.
    16. Jan R. Magnus & Victor M. Polterovich & Dmitri L. Danilov & Alexei V. Savvateev, 2002. "Tolerance of Cheating: An Analysis Across Countries," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 125-135, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olaf Hübler & Lukas Menkhoff & Ulrich Schmidt, 2018. "Who Is Cheating? The Role of Attendants, Risk Aversion, and Affluence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1736, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. repec:spr:stmapp:v:27:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10260-018-0426-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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