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The deadly effect of high-stakes testing on teenagers with reference-dependent preferences

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  • Liang Choon Wang

Abstract

This paper explains why suicidal tendency and test performance of teenagers may not be inversely related when individuals have reference-dependent preferences. Using panel survey data of South Korean secondary school students, I show that the relationship between suicidal ideation and test performance is consistent with reference-dependent preferences. When a student’s rank in the high-stakes College Scholastic Ability Test falls below her average ranks in prior national examinations, she exhibits greater suicidal tendency. The reference dependent effects, however, are absent for low-stakes in-school academic performance. The findings highlight the potential adverse consequences of disappointment in high-stakes testing.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2013/index.html
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 40-13.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2013-40

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Keywords: High-Stakes Testing; Reference-Dependent Preference; Suicide; Suicidal Ideation; Korea.;

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