IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sza/wpaper/wpapers293.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rotten apples or just apples and pears? Understanding patterns consistent with cheating in international test data

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Gustafsson

    () (ReSEP, Stellenbosch University, and Department of Basic Education)

  • Carol Nuga Deliwe

    () (Department of Basic Education)

Abstract

The Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) programme has succeeded in generating valuable knowledge about the outcomes of schooling in the region, and in developing capacity to use data, including test data, in governments and amongst researchers. However, there is room for improvements in the programme. The current paper examines the extent to which patterns in the 2000 and 2007 test data suggest cheating occurred. The risk of cheating during the administration of the SACMEQ tests clearly exists, both because in-built controls can be subverted and because all pupils write exactly the same test, which is unlike the situation in a programme such as TIMSS, which employs a matrix sampling test design approach. Data analysis methods developed by Jacob and Levitt (2003) to detect cheating are adapted and then applied to the SACMEQ, but also TIMSS, data. It is concluded that whilst cheating does not substantially change the overall picture of performance derived from the 2000 and 2007 data, or country rankings, noteworthy patterns highly consistent with cheating can be found in some countries, and some regions within countries. Country-level indicators of cheating in SACMEQ correlate remarkably well with World Bank indicators of general corruption. An analysis of conditional correlations within the SACMEQ data reveals that schools serving more socio-economically disadvantaged pupils are more likely to cheat. In one country, having a male school principal is associated with a higher likelihood of cheating.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gustafsson & Carol Nuga Deliwe, 2017. "Rotten apples or just apples and pears? Understanding patterns consistent with cheating in international test data," Working Papers 17/2017, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers293
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2017/wp172017/wp172017.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Gustafsson, Martin, 2015. "Enrolment ratios and related puzzles in developing countries: Approaches for interrogating the data drawing from the case of South Africa," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 63-72.
    4. Dong, Bin & Torgler, Benno, 2013. "Causes of corruption: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 152-169.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    SACMEQ; TIMSS; assessment data; cheating; corruption; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • C89 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers293. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Melt van Schoor). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/desunza.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.