Are easy grading practices induced by low demand? Evidence from Italy
AbstractIn this paper we investigate whether grades are used by educational institutions as a competition variable to attract and retain students. Using a sample of almost 26,000 students enrolled at an Italian University, we document that grades vary significantly across degrees. After controlling for students’ characteristics, class-size, classmates’ quality and degree fixed effects, it emerges that students obtain better grades and are less likely to drop-out when their degree course experiences an excess of supply. We adopt an instrumental variable strategy to account for endogeneity problems and instrument the excess of supply by using the total number of universities offering each degree course. Our IV estimates confirm that the teaching staff on degree course facing low demand tend to set lower academic standards with the result that their students obtain better grades and have a lower probability of dropping out than they might otherwise.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14425.
Date of creation: 06 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
grades; higher education; grading standards;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-04-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-04-13 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2009-04-13 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001.
"Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
- Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- William Chan & Li Hao & Wing Suen, 2007.
"A Signaling Theory Of Grade Inflation,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 1065-1090, 08.
- David N. Figlio & Maurice E. Lucas, 2000.
"Do High Grading Standards Affect Student Performance?,"
NBER Working Papers
7985, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Figlio, David N. & Lucas, Maurice E., 2004. "Do high grading standards affect student performance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1815-1834, August.
- Checchi,Daniele, 2006.
"The Economics of Education,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521793100, October.
- Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
- David J. Zimmerman, 2003.
"Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
- Zimmerman, David J., 1999. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-52, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Massimiliano BRATTI & Stefano STAFFOLANI, 2001.
"Performance accademica e scelta della facolta' universitaria: aspetti teorici e evidenza empirica,"
152, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
- Massimiliano Bratti & Stefano Staffolani, 2001. "Performance accademica e scelta della facoltà universitaria: aspetti teorici e evidenza empirica," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(6), pages 203-244, July-Augu.
- Bruce Sacerdote, 2000.
"Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates,"
NBER Working Papers
7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.