A Simple Model of Educational Standards
AbstractThe author models standards for educational credentials, such as high-school diplomas. Standard-setters maximize their conception of social welfare, knowing that utility-maximizing students choose whether to meet the standard. The author shows that more egalitarian policymakers set lower standards, the median voter would prefer higher standards (under symmetric distributions), and decentralization lowers standards (among identical communities). Optimal standards do not necessarily fall with increased student preference for leisure, deterioration of nonstudent inputs to education, or increased student heterogeneity. Superseding binary credentials by perfect information increases average achievement and social welfare for plausible degrees of heterogeneity, egalitarianism, and pooling under decentralization. Copyright 1994 by American Economic Association.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 84 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
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