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External Monitors and Score Manipulation in Italian Schools: Symptomatic Treatment or Cure?

Author

Listed:
  • Bertoni, Marco

    () (University of Padova)

  • Brunello, Giorgio

    () (University of Padova)

  • De Benedetto, Marco Alberto

    () (University of Messina)

  • De Paola, Maria

    () (University of Calabria)

Abstract

We use the repeated random assignment of external examiners to school institutes in Italy to investigate whether the effect of external monitoring on test score manipulation persists over time. We find that this effect is still present in the tests taken one year after exposure to the examiners, and is stronger for open-ended questions, for small school institutes, and for institutes located in the northern and central regions of the country. In the second year after exposure, however, this effect disappears, suggesting that monitoring is a symptomatic treatment rather than a cure of score manipulation. We discuss learning, reputational concerns, peer pressure and teacher preferences as potential mechanisms behind our findings, and present some evidence on the role played by social capital and high stakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio & De Benedetto, Marco Alberto & De Paola, Maria, 2019. "External Monitors and Score Manipulation in Italian Schools: Symptomatic Treatment or Cure?," IZA Discussion Papers 12591, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12591
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rebecca Diamond & Petra Persson, 2016. "The Long-term Consequences of Teacher Discretion in Grading of High-stakes Tests," NBER Working Papers 22207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marco Paccagnella & Paolo Sestito, 2014. "School cheating and social capital," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 367-388, August.
    3. Sarah Baird & Joan Hamory Hicks & Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2016. "Worms at Work: Long-run Impacts of a Child Health Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1637-1680.
    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. Battistin, Erich & De Nadai, Michele & Vuri, Daniela, 2017. "Counting rotten apples: Student achievement and score manipulation in Italian elementary Schools," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 200(2), pages 344-362.
    6. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
    7. Erich Battistin, 2016. "How manipulating test scores affects school accountability and student achievement," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 295-295, September.
    8. Thomas Ahn & Jacob Vigdor, 2014. "The Impact of No Child Left Behind's Accountability Sanctions on School Performance: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from North Carolina," NBER Working Papers 20511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Nicholas Bloom & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2018. "Do Management Interventions Last? Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 24249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 855-902, April.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30367426 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; testing; external monitoring; long-run effects;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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