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Whose fault is it? Assigning blame for grade inflation in higher education

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  • R. Todd Jewell
  • Michael A. McPherson
  • Margie A. Tieslau

Abstract

This study attempts to isolate the potential sources of grade inflation and to measure their relative importance. We incorporate existing models of grade inflation into a model of grade inflation at the department level. Our data comprise 1683 separate courses taught in 28 different academic departments by 3176 distinct instructors at a large public university over two decades. Our results suggest that incentives to inflate grades vary according to characteristics of academic departments. However, the vast majority (over 90%) of grade inflation observed in our data is estimated to be a result of either university-level factors or instructor-specific characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Todd Jewell & Michael A. McPherson & Margie A. Tieslau, 2013. "Whose fault is it? Assigning blame for grade inflation in higher education," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1185-1200, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:9:p:1185-1200
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.621884
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kwang Soo Cheong, 2000. "Grade Inflation at the University of Hawaii-Manoa," Working Papers 200002, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna, 2015. "Educational spillovers and parental migration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 64-75.
    2. Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna, 2014. "Educational spillovers and parental migration," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-46, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Mohammad Alauddin & Temesgen Kifle, 2014. "Does the student evaluation of teaching instrument really measure instructorsù teaching effectiveness? An econometric analysis of studentsù perceptions in economics courses," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 156-168.
    4. Pearce, John A., 2017. "How employers can stanch the hemorrhaging of collegiate GPA credibility," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 35-43.
    5. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:1:p:106-131 is not listed on IDEAS

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