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Double Standards in Educational Standards: Are Disadvantaged Students Being Graded More Leniently?

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  • Himmler, Oliver
  • Schwager, Robert

Abstract

A simple model of decentralised graduation standards is presented. It is shown that a school whose students are disadvantaged on the labour market applies less demanding standards because such students have less incentives to graduate. The model's predictions are tested using Dutch school-level data. Since students in the Netherlands have to participate both in a central and in a school specific examination, we can identify the grading policy of individual schools. We find that schools which harbour greater shares of disadvantaged students tend to set lower standards. This effect is largest in the branch of secondary schooling preparing for university. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 07-016.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5504

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Keywords: education; grading; social status; schools; Netherlands;

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References

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  1. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2005. "The Effect Of Central Exit Examinations On Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From TIMSS Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1134-1155, 09.
  3. 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.
  4. Thomas de Graaff & Cees Gorter & Peter Nijkamp, 2001. "Effects of Ethnic Geographical Clustering on Educational Attainment in the Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-028/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  6. Bishop, J., 1997. "The Effect of national Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," Papers 97-01, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
  7. Julian R. Betts, 1998. "The two-legged stool: the neglected role of educational standards in improving America's public schools," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 97-116.
  8. Hendrik Jürges & Wolfram F. Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2004. "Teacher Quality and Incentives: Theoretical and Empirical Effects of Standards on Teacher Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 1296, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Bishop, John H, 1997. "The Effect of National Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 260-64, May.
  10. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
  11. Betts, Julian R, 1998. "The Impact of Educational Standards on the Level and Distribution of Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 266-75, March.
  12. Wikstrom, Christina & Wikstrom, Magnus, 2005. "Grade inflation and school competition: an empirical analysis based on the Swedish upper secondary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 309-322, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Oliver Himmler, 2009. "The Effects of School Competition on Academic Achievement and Grading Standards," CESifo Working Paper Series 2676, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alessandro Tampieri, 2009. "Social Background Effects on School and Job Opportunities," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/26, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Sep 2010.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Alessandro Tampieri, 2013. "Students' Social Origins and targeted Grade Inflation," CREA Discussion Paper Series 13-28, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.

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