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Differential Grading Standards and University Funding: Evidence from Italy

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  • Manuel Bagues
  • Mauro Sylos Labini
  • Natalia Zinovyeva

Abstract

This paper documents that grades vary significantly across Italian public universities and degrees. We provide evidence suggesting that these differences reflect the heterogeneity of grading standards. A straightforward implication of this result is that university funding schemes based on students' academic performance do not necessary favour universities that generate higher value added. We test this for the case of the Italian funds allocation system, which rewards universities according to the number of exams passed by their students. We find that university departments that rank higher according to this indicator actually tend to be significantly worse in terms of their graduates' performance in the labour market.

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File URL: http://documentos.fedea.net/pubs/dt/2008/dt-2008-07.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2008-07.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2008-07

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References

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  1. Giorgio Brunello & Lorenzo Cappellari, 2007. "The Labour Market Effects of Alma Mater: Evidence from Italy," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0040, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  2. Costrell, Robert M, 1994. "A Simple Model of Educational Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 956-71, September.
  3. Bas Jacobs & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2006. "Guide to reform of higher education: a European perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 535-592, 07.
  4. Giorgio Di Pietro, 2006. "Regional labour market conditions and university dropout rates: Evidence from Italy," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 617-630.
  5. Dario Pozzoli, 2009. "The Transition to Work for Italian University Graduates," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(1), pages 131-169, 03.
  6. Siegfried, John J & Fels, Rendigs, 1979. "Research on Teaching College Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 923-69, September.
  7. Andreu Mas-Colell, 2004. "The European Space of Higher Education: Incentive and Governance Issues," 'Angelo Costa' Lectures Serie, SIPI Spa, issue Lect. V.
  8. M. De Paola & V. Scoppa, 2007. "Returns to skills, incentives to study and optimal educational standards," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 229-262, December.
  9. Paul M. Anglin & Ronald Meng, 2000. "Evidence on Grades and Grade Inflation at Ontario's Universities," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(3), pages 361-368, September.
  10. Richard Sabot & John Wakeman-Linn, 1991. "Grade Inflation and Course Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 159-170, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Thomas K. Bauer & Barbara S. Grave, 2011. "Performance-related Funding of Universities – Does more Competition Lead to Grade Inflation?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0288, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Popov, Sergey V. & Bernhardt, Dan, 2010. "University Competition, Grading Standards and Grade Inflation," MPRA Paper 26461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Robin Cowan & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2009. "University Effect on Regional Inovation," Working Papers 2009-20, FEDEA.
  4. Mauro Sylos Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2011. "Stimulating graduates' research-oriented careers: does academic research matter?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 337-365, February.
  5. Maria De Paola, 2011. "Easy grading practices and supply–demand factors: evidence from Italy," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 227-246, October.
  6. Bosio, Giulio & Leonardi, Marco, 2011. "The Impact of Bologna Process on the Graduate Labour Market: Demand and Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 5789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Manuel F. Bagues & Mauro Sylos Labini, 2009. "Do Online Labor Market Intermediaries Matter? The Impact of AlmaLaurea on the University-to-Work Transition," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 127-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ehlers, Tim & Schwager, Robert, 2012. "Honest Grading, Grade Inflation and Reputation," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62051, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  9. Møen, Jarle & Tjelta, Martin, 2010. "Grading standards, student ability and errors in college admission," Discussion Papers 2010/5, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
  10. Ehlers, Tim & Schwager, Robert, 2012. "Honest grading, grade inflation and reputation," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 143, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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