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When the cat is near, the mice won't play: the effect of external examiners in Italian schools

Bertoni, Marco and Brunello, Giorgio and 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, 104. pp. 65-77. ISSN 0047-2727

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.04.010

Abstract

We use a natural experiment to show that the presence of an external examiner has both a direct and an indirect negative effect on the performance of monitored classes in standardised educational tests. The direct effect is the difference in the test performance between classes of the same school with and without external examiners. The indirect effect is the difference in performance between un-monitored classes in schools with an external examiner and un-monitored classes in schools without external monitoring. We find that the overall effect of having an external examiner in the class is to reduce the proportion of correct answers by 5.5 to 8.5% – depending on the grade and the test – with respect to classes in schools with no external monitor. The direct and indirect effects range between 4.3 and 6.6% and between 1.2 and 1.9% respectively. Using additional supporting evidence, we argue that the negative impact of the presence of an external examiner on measured test scores is due to reduced cheating (by students and/or teachers) rather than to the negative effects of anxiety or distraction from having a stranger in the class.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-public...
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
L Education > L Education (General)
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C3 - Econometric Methods: Multiple; Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables; Endogenous Regressors > C31 - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H52 - Government Expenditures and Education
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2014 10:25
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2014 10:25
Funders: Ministry of Italian Universities (PRIN contract n. 2009MAATFS_002)
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/59331

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