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Sanding the Wheels of Growth: Cheating by Economics and Business Students and ‘Real World’ Corruption

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The relation between academic integrity and real world corruption is more often presumed than proven. Based on a sample of 7,602 students from 21 countries, it was found that academic cheating in the past is a predictor of the countries’ current level of corruption. This reproducibility and persistence over time of dishonest behaviors highlights the danger of disregarding students cheating at university.

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Fig. 1


  1. Corruption might be defined as the use of public office for private gain (Rose-Ackerman 1978). Corruption is thus one aspect of governance which also relates to matters of transparency, accountability, political stability, social order, the rule of law and the like. These factors are likely to be interdependent (Blackburn 2012).

  2. In Teixeira and Rocha (2010), further details on the procedure for data gathering and description of the responses is provided.

  3. It is important to underline that the issue of reverse causality was not demonstrated by the estimations (the coefficient of corruption failed to be statistical significant). Thus, the possibility that past real world corruption impacts on academic cheating did not emerged from the data.


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I’ll like to thank one anonymous reviewer for her/his valuable comments. I’m sincerely in debt to all the students who participated in the survey, and my fellow colleagues (from the schools located in the 21 countries) who generously made this research possible.

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Correspondence to Aurora A. C. Teixeira.

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Teixeira, A.A.C. Sanding the Wheels of Growth: Cheating by Economics and Business Students and ‘Real World’ Corruption. J Acad Ethics 11, 269–274 (2013).

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