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

  • Bertoni, Marco


    (University of Padova)

  • Brunello, Giorgio


    (University of Padova)

  • Rocco, Lorenzo


    (University of Padova)

We use a natural experiment to show that the presence of an external examiner in standardized school tests reduces the proportion of correct answers in monitored classes by 5.5 to 8.5% – depending on the grade and the test – with respect to classes in schools with no external monitor. We find that the effect of external monitoring in a class spills over to other classes in the same school. We argue that the negative effect of external supervision is due to reduced cheating (by students and/or teachers) rather than to distraction from having a stranger in the class.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6629.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2013, 104, 65-77
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6629
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  1. Farasat A.S. Bokhari & Helen Schnedier, 2009. "School accountability laws and the consumption of psychostimulants," Working Papers wp2009_03_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised 08 Mar 2009.
  2. Julie Berry Cullen & Randall Reback, 2006. "Tinkering Toward Accolades: School Gaming Under a Performance Accountability System," NBER Working Papers 12286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Figlio, David N. & Winicki, Joshua, 2005. "Food for thought: the effects of school accountability plans on school nutrition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 381-394, February.
  4. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Testing, Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 11194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  7. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2010. "Civic Capital as the Missing Link," NBER Working Papers 15845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Iftikhar Hussain, 2015. "Subjective Performance Evaluation in the Public Sector: Evidence from School Inspections," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 189-221.
  9. Jacob, Brian A., 2005. "Accountability, incentives and behavior: the impact of high-stakes testing in the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 761-796, June.
  10. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-32, Nov.-Dec..
  11. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2009. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: How Do Cash Transfers Affect Ineligibles' Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 486-508, March.
  12. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  13. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:3:p:843-877 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," NBER Working Papers 7415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Figlio, David & Loeb, Susanna, 2011. "School Accountability," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  16. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:1057-1090 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Tommaso Nannicini & Andrea Stella & Guido Tabellini & Ugo Troiano, 2010. "Social Capital and Political Accountability," Working Papers 2010.58, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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