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Risk Preference and Student Behavior on Multiple-Choice Exams


  • Zhou Yang

    () (Robert Morris University)

  • Martin Tackie

    () (Ernst & Young LLP)


This paper modifies standard multiple-choice form of assessment by adding an intertemporal bonus point mechanism in the assessment. The modified mechanism enables us to uncover traditionally unobserved student behavior and provides insights into strategic behavior of students. Based on panel data on students enrolled in an economics course, our results suggest that risk preference plays an important role in explaining student strategic behavior on multiple-choice exams. In addition, the findings shed light on the possibilities to enhance student performance through improvements on their learning habits based on their risk preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhou Yang & Martin Tackie, 2016. "Risk Preference and Student Behavior on Multiple-Choice Exams," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 58-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-15-00594

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Walstad, William B & Becker, William E, 1994. "Achievement Differences on Multiple-Choice and Essay Tests in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 193-196, May.
    2. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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    More about this item


    Risk Preference; Student Behavior; Incentive Mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty


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