Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/110693
Authors: 
Angrist, Joshua
Battistin, Erich
Vuri, Daniela
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 8959
Abstract: 
An instrumental variables (IV) identification strategy that exploits statutory class size caps shows significant achievement gains in smaller classes in Italian primary schools. Gains from small classes are driven mainly by schools in Southern Italy, suggesting a substantial return to class size reductions for residents of the Mezzogiorno. In addition to high unemployment and other social problems, however, the Mezzogiorno is distinguished by pervasive manipulation of standardized test scores, a finding revealed in a natural experiment that randomly assigns school monitors. IV estimates also show that small classes increase score manipulation. Dishonest scoring appears to be a consequence of teacher shirking in answer sheet transcription, rather than cheating by either students or teachers. Estimates of a causal model for achievement with two endogenous variables, class size and score manipulation, suggest that the effects of class size on measured achievement are driven entirely by the relationship between class size and manipulation. These findings show how consequential score manipulation can arise even in assessment systems with few NCLB-style accountability concerns.
Subjects: 
education production
test scores
regression discontinuity
JEL: 
C26
C31
I21
I28
J24
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
1.97 MB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.