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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:
Publication status: published as: "Cheating and social interactions. Evidence from a randomized experiment in a national evaluation program", Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 115, 2015, 45–66
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6967
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  1. Ammermüller, Andreas & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Entorf, Horst & Lauk, Martina, 2007. "Peer effects, social multipliers and migrants at school: An international comparison," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 57, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  3. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 7060, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jane Cooley Fruehwirth, 2014. "Can Achievement Peer Effect Estimates Inform Policy? A View from Inside the Black Box," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 514-523, July.
  5. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati, 2010. "Indirect Effects of a Policy Altering Criminal Behaviour: Evidence from the Italian Prison Experiment," CSEF Working Papers 270, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  6. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari, 2011. "Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom," Working Papers 385, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Youenn Loheac, 2003. ""It Wasn't Me, It Was Them!" Social Influence in Risky Behaviour by Adolescents," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 44, Royal Economic Society.
  8. 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.
  9. Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2008. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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).
  13. Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2007. "Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks," Cahiers de recherche 0705, CIRPEE.
  14. 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.
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