Returns to education on the labor market are sizable and have been growing. But is this the case for illegitimate activities as well? Do criminals have positive returns to education? 499 more words
I ask what is the point of passing an exam where there is widespread cheating, and in consequence the exam has little credibility. What is the point of holding an exam when there is widespread cheating? If you seek to learn skills, cheating would be totally counter-productive. But if the exam simply produces a credential that people accept, students look for ways to get the credential as painlessly as possible. Cheating works best if the signalling model of education is true. Students should cheat more in those courses that offer the least productivity gains. Serious cheaters have been found to be more likely to be younger and have a lower grade point average. But as Alex Tabarrok argues "I sometimes find evidence of cheating on exams but I rarely take action, I don’t have to. Almost invariably the cheaters get abysmally low grades even without penalty. Some people I know get annoyed when students without evident handicap ask for and receive special treatment such as extra time on exams. I comply without rancor as the extra time never seems to help. Over the years I have had a number of students ask for incompletes. None have ever become completes. I call this the law of below averages."