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High scores but low skills

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Author Info

  • Liu, Liqun
  • Neilson, William S.

Abstract

In this paper college admissions are based on test scores and students can exert two types of effort: real learning and exam preparation. The former improves skills but the latter is more effective in raising test scores. In this setting the students with the lowest skills are no longer the ones with the lowest aptitude, but instead are the ones closest to the borderline for college admission. Increased access to college leads to greater income inequality between college graduates and non-graduates. Overall, the ability to study for the test leads to higher expected test scores but lower skills.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 507-516

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:507-516

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

Related research

Keywords: College admission Standardized test Tournament Income inequality Teaching to the test;

References

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  1. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
  2. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard & Sieg, Holger, 2000. "Peer Effects, Financial Aid, and Selection of Students into Colleges and Universities: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 00-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  3. Lipscomb, Stephen, 2007. "Secondary school extracurricular involvement and academic achievement: a fixed effects approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 463-472, August.
  4. Grant, Darren, 2007. "Grades as information," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 201-214, April.
  5. Hanming Fang, 2006. "Disentangling The College Wage Premium: Estimating A Model With Endogenous Education Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1151-1185, November.
  6. Yakusheva, Olga, 2010. "Return to college education revisited: Is relevance relevant?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1125-1142, December.
  7. Elish Kelly & Philip O'Connell & Emer Smyth, 2008. "The Economic Returns to Field of Study and Competencies Among Higher Education Graduates in Ireland," Papers WP242, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  8. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2008. "Diversity and Affirmative Action in Higher Education," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 475-501, 08.
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  11. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2006. "Admission, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies in the Market for Higher Education," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 885-928, 07.
  12. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2009. "The Changing Selectivity of American Colleges," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 95-118, Fall.
  13. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, 2002. "On the Demographic Composition of Colleges and Universities in Market Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 310-314, May.
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  15. Öckert, Björn, 2010. "What's the value of an acceptance letter? Using admissions data to estimate the return to college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 504-516, August.
  16. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Sinan Sarpaca & Holger Sieg, 2006. "Profiling in Bargaining Over College Tuition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages F459-F479, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Borghans, Lex & Meijers, Huub & Weel, Bas ter, 2013. "The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for measuring IQ," MERIT Working Papers 006, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Borghans, Lex & Meijers, Huub & ter Weel, Bas, 2013. "The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for measuring IQ," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 17-28.
  3. Antonello E. Scorcu & Laura Vici, 2013. "Economic and cultural factors and illegal copying in the university textbook market," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-01-2013, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Feb 2013.

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