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Students' Cheating as a Social Interaction: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in a National Evaluation Program

  • Lucifora, Claudio

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Tonello, Marco

    ()

    (Catholic University Milan)

We analyze students' cheating behavior during a national evaluation test. We model the mechanisms that trigger cheating interactions between students and show that, when monitoring is not sufficiently accurate, a social multiplier may magnify the effects on students' achievements. We exploit a randomized experiment, which envisaged the presence of an external inspector in the administration and marking of the tests, to estimate a structural (endogenous) social multiplier in students' cheating. The empirical strategy exploits the Excess-Variance approach (Graham, 2008). We find a strong amplifying role played by social interactions within classrooms: students' cheating behaviors more than double the class average test scores results. The effects are found to be larger when students are more homogeneous in terms of parental background characteristics and social ties.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6967.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6967
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  1. Laurent Davezies & Xavier d'Haultfoeuille & Denis Fougère, 2007. "Identification of Peer Using Group Size Variation," Working Papers 2007-34, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Marco Bertoni & Giorgio Brunello & Lorenzo Rocco, 2012. "When the Cat is Near, the Mice Wonft Play: The Effect of External Examiners in Italian Schools," ISER Discussion Paper 0845, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  3. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati, 2012. "Indirect effects of a policy altering criminal behavior: Evidence from the Italian prison experiment," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/53r60a8s3ku, Sciences Po.
  4. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari, 2014. "Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(579), pages 917-953, 09.
  5. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
  6. Bramoullé, Yann & Djebbari, Habiba & Fortin, Bernard, 2009. "Identification of peer effects through social networks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 41-55, May.
  7. Antoni Calv�-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2009. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1239-1267.
  8. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, 07.
  9. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
  10. Scott E. Carrell & Frederick V. Malmstrom & James E. West, 2008. "Peer Effects in Academic Cheating," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  11. Andreas Ammermueller & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Peer effects in European primary schools: evidence from PIRLS," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25534, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Laurent Davezies & Xavier D'Haultfoeuille & Denis Fougère, 2009. "Identification of peer effects using group size variation," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(3), pages 397-413, November.
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