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Student Selection and Incentives

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  • Gerald Eisenkopf

Abstract

The paper discusses the impact of performance based selection in secondary education on student incentives. The theoretical approach combines human capital theory with signaling theory. The consideration of signaling offers an explanation for observed performance of educational systems with a standard peer effect argument. More specifically it can be optimal to select students according to ability even if selective systems do not outperform comprehensive systems in tests. Selection achieves the same output with lower private costs for the students. The paper questions the strong focus on educational tests to measure the efficiency of selective systems as long as these tests provide no information about a student’s incentives and private costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 42.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0042

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Keywords: Education; signalling; selection; ability grouping; incentives;

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References

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  1. Manning, Alan & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Comprehensive versus Selective Schooling in England in Wales: What Do We Know?," IZA Discussion Papers 2072, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gerald Eisenkopf, 2007. "Learning and Peer Effects," TWI Research Paper Series, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz 21, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  3. De Fraja, Gianni & Landeras, Pedro, 2006. "Could do better: The effectiveness of incentives and competition in schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 189-213, January.
  4. Kelly Bedard, . "Human Capital Versus Signaling Models: University Access and High School Drop-outs," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 19, McMaster University.
  5. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803, August.
  6. Holger Sieg & Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2003. "Peer effects, financial aid and selection of students into colleges and universities: an empirical analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 501-525.
  7. Kremer, Michael Robert & Miguel, Edward A. & Thorton, Rebecca L, 2004. "Incentives to Learn," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkele qt9kc4p47q, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," CEE Discussion Papers, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE 0065, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  10. Dobbelsteen, Simone & Levin, Jesse & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2002. " The Causal Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement: Distinguishing the Pure Class Size Effect from the Effect of Changes in Class Composition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(1), pages 17-38, February.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," NBER Working Papers 11124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," NBER Working Papers 4979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. McEwan, Patrick J., 2003. "Peer effects on student achievement: evidence from Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 131-141, April.
  14. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  15. Volker Meier, 2004. "Choosing between School Systems: The Risk of Failure," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(1), pages 83-, April.
  16. De Fraja, Gianni & Oliveira, Tania & Zanchi, Luisa, 2005. "Must Try Harder. Evaluating the Role of Effort in Educational Attainment," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Jacob M. Markman & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Does Peer Ability Affect Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 8502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor, 2002. "The Effect of High School Matriculation Awards: Evidence from Randomized Trials," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  20. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2004. "Incentives to learn," Natural Field Experiments 00289, The Field Experiments Website.
  21. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Sanghoon Lee, 2007. "The Timing Of Signaling: To Study In High School Or In College?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 785-807, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Koerselman, Kristian, 2011. "Incentives from Curriculum Tracking: Cross-national and UK Evidence," Working Paper Series 3/2011, Swedish Institute for Social Research.

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