University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

On the economics of plagiarism

Collins, A, Judge, G and Rickman, N (2007) On the economics of plagiarism European Journal of Law and Economics, 24 (2). pp. 93-107.

Text (licence)

Download (33kB)
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (280kB)


Cheating and plagiarism can involve the transgression of intellectual property rights across many areas of life. When a direct financial benefit from such practices is identifiable, the opportunity to seek legal redress is available via civil court action. When it is undertaken by a public official it may constitute malfeasance. Yet in the case of breaches of university regulations (from the growing number of student cheating and plagiarism incidents) subsequent legal intervention may be characterised by situations where the university is the defendant and the alleged plagiarist is the plaintiff (seeking compensation for interrupted study and/or tarnished reputation). University defences can flounder around the issue of proving intent to deceive. What can they do to try to prevent such occurrences? This paper uses economic analysis to examine such issues. Economic models of plagiarism motivated primarily by (i) time-saving and (ii) dishonesty are developed to help frame the discussion. Both model approaches overlap in their implications, namely, ensuring that sufficient resources are devoted to monitoring coursework (to increase the probability that cheating and plagiarism are detected) and of providing sufficiently clear and severe institutional penalties (to counter-balance any expected benefits that the student may perceive to be available from cheating and plagiarism). Policy proposals are raised for further debate and consideration. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Authors :
Collins, A
Judge, G
Rickman, N
Date : October 2007
DOI : 10.1007/s10657-007-9028-4
Additional Information : The original publication is available at
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 22 Jun 2012 08:41
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:32

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800