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Open AccessArticle

Exploring the Link between Academic Dishonesty and Economic Delinquency: A Partial Least Squares Path Modeling Approach

Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, 030018 Bucharest, Romania
Williams School of Business, Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, QC J1M1Z7, Canada
Faculty of Economic Sciences, Ovidius University, 900470 Constanta, Romania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mathematics 2019, 7(12), 1241;
Received: 13 November 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 11 December 2019 / Published: 15 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative Methods for Economics and Finance)
This paper advances the study of the relationship between the attitude towards academic dishonesty and other types of dishonest and even fraudulent behavior, such as tax evasion and piracy. It proposes a model in which the attitudes towards two types of cheating and fraud are systematically analyzed in connection with a complex set of latent construct determinants and control variables. It attempts to predict the tolerance towards tax evasion and social insurance fraud and piracy, using academic cheating as the main predictor. The proposed model surveys 504 student respondents, uses a partial least squares—path modeling analysis, and employs two subsets of latent constructs to account for context and disposition. The relationship between the outcome variable and the subset of predictors that account for context is mediated by yet another latent construct—Preoccupation about Money—that has been shown to strongly influence people’s attitude towards a whole range of social and economic behaviors. The results show academic dishonesty is a statistically significant predictor of an entire range of unethical and fraudulent behavior acceptance, and confirm the role played by both contextual and dispositional variables; moreover, they show that dispositional and contextual variables tend to be segregated according to how they impact the outcome. They also show that money priming does not act as a mediator, in spite of its stand-alone impact on the outcome variables. The most important result, however, is that the effect size of the main predictor is large. The contribution of this paper is two-fold: it advances a line of research previously sidestepped, and it proposes a comprehensive and robust model with a view to establish a hierarchy of significance and effect size in predicting deviance and fraud. Most of all, this research highlights the central role played by academic dishonesty in predicting the acceptance of any type of dishonest behavior, be it in the workplace, at home, or when discharging one’s responsibilities as a citizen. The results presented here give important clues as to where to start intervening in order to discourage the acceptance of deviance and fraud. Educators, university professors, and academic administrators should be at the forefront of targeted campaigns and policies aimed at fighting and reducing academic dishonesty. View Full-Text
Keywords: academic cheating; tax evasion; informality academic cheating; tax evasion; informality
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Druică, E.; Vâlsan, C.; Ianole-Călin, R.; Mihail-Papuc, R.; Munteanu, I. Exploring the Link between Academic Dishonesty and Economic Delinquency: A Partial Least Squares Path Modeling Approach. Mathematics 2019, 7, 1241.

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