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Students' Social Origins and Targeted Grade Inflation

Grade inflation or soft grading is a common feature of the educational systems of many countries. In this paper I analyse grade inflation in a setting in which students differ in social background, and the grading policy can be targeted according to student type. I consider a signalling game where firms decide whether to hire students and their salary after observing their grades and social background, a university can inflate grades, when students decide whether to attend university. A targeted grade inflation may have redistributive effects by raising the salary of students with disadvantaged social background, if their grades are less inflated than other students'.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp801.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp801
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  1. Arnott, Richard & Rowse, John, 1987. "Peer group effects and educational attainment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 287-305, April.
  2. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
  3. Oliver Himmler & Robert Schwager, 2013. "Double Standards in Educational Standards – Do Schools with a Disadvantaged Student Body Grade More Leniently?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(2), pages 166-189, 05.
  4. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  5. McCulloch, Andrew & Joshi, Heather E., 2001. "Neighbourhood and family influences on the cognitive ability of children in the British National Child Development Study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 579-591, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  8. A. Tampieri, 2011. "Social Background Effects on School and Job Opportunities," Working Papers wp779, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  9. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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