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The Effects of a Translation Bias on the Scores for the Basic Economics Test


  • Jinsoo Hahn
  • Kyungho Jang


International comparisons of economic understanding generally require a translation of a standardized test written in English into another language. Test results can differ based on how researchers translate the English written exam into one in their own language. To confirm this hypothesis, two differently translated versions of the Basic Economics Test (BET) (Walstad, Rebeck, and Butters 2010a) were given to elementary school students in Korea. We found the possibility of overestimating or underestimating the levels of economic understanding by various sources of translation bias. Therefore, it is important to carefully interpret the assessment results of international comparisons. Our study is applicable not only to international comparisons of economic literacy but also to any comparison of knowledge across cultures or languages within a country.

Suggested Citation

  • Jinsoo Hahn & Kyungho Jang, 2012. "The Effects of a Translation Bias on the Scores for the Basic Economics Test," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 133-148, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:43:y:2012:i:2:p:133-148 DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2012.659641

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Todd Kaplan, 2006. "Why banks should keep secrets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(2), pages 341-357, January.
    2. Shy Oz & Stenbacka Rune, 2008. "Rethinking the Roles of Banks: A Call for Narrow Banking," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-4, June.
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