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How do Performance Targets Affect Future Performance by Students and Schools?


  • M. Sartarelli
  • A. Tampieri


The paper examines whether meeting performance targets in tests at school has an effeect on students' subsequent achievement in education and the take-up by schools of financial support from the government for students. We build a theoretical model to describe the channels through which students' belief of their ability, as proxied by previous performance in tests, affect their current effort in preparing for a test, and how previous performance affects the effort in teaching by a school. We find that an increase in the performance target in the first test has an ambiguous effect on the effort exerted for the second test. A higher performance target in the current test increases the effort of low-ability students and teaching effort for low ability students, while it has an ambiguous effect on high ability ones. Finally, an increase in government funding per student increases the effort by students.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Sartarelli & A. Tampieri, 2011. "How do Performance Targets Affect Future Performance by Students and Schools?," Working Papers wp760, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp760

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holt, Charles A & Sherman, Roger, 1994. "The Loser's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 642-652, June.
    2. Ball, Sheryl B. & Bazerman, Max H. & Carroll, John S., 1991. "An evaluation of learning in the bilateral winner's curse," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-22, February.
    3. Reinhard Selten & Klaus Abbink & Ricarda Cox, 2005. "Learning Direction Theory and the Winner’s Curse," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(1), pages 5-20, April.
    4. Brit Grosskopf & Yoella Bereby-Meyer & Max Bazerman, 2007. "On the Robustness of the Winner’s Curse Phenomenon," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(4), pages 389-418, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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