IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cwl/cwldpp/1467.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Grading Exams: 100, 99, ..., 1 or A, B, C? Incentives in Games of Status

Author

Abstract

We show that if students care primarily about their status (relative rank) in class, they are best motivated to work not by revealing their exact numerical exam scores (100,99,...,1), but instead by clumping them in broad categories (A,B,C). If their abilities are disparate, the optimal grading scheme awards fewer A's than there are alpha-quality students, creating small elites. If their abilities are common knowledge, then it is better to grade them on an absolute scale (100 to 90 is an A, etc.) rather than on a curve (top 15% is an A, etc.). We develop criteria for optimal grading schemes in terms of the stochastic dominance between student performances.

Suggested Citation

  • Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos, 2004. "Grading Exams: 100, 99, ..., 1 or A, B, C? Incentives in Games of Status," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1467, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1467
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d14/d1467.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Azmat, Ghazala & Iriberri, Nagore, 2010. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: Evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 435-452, August.
    2. Sergey V. Popov & Dan Bernhardt, 2013. "University Competition, Grading Standards, And Grade Inflation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1764-1778, July.
    3. Hopkins, Ed & Kornienko, Tatiana, 2009. "Status, affluence, and inequality: Rank-based comparisons in games of status," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 552-568, November.
    4. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela & Xianwen Shi, 2007. "Contests for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 338-363.
    5. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos, 2005. "Grading in Games of Status: Marking Exams and Setting Wages," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1544, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Dec 2005.
    6. Dubey, Pradeep & Geanakoplos, John, 2010. "Grading exams: 100,99,98,... or A,B,C?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 72-94, May.
    7. Emmanuelle Auriol & Régis Renault, 2008. "Status and incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 305-326.
    8. Maya Eden, 2006. "Optimal Ties in Contests," Discussion Paper Series dp430, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    9. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2007. "Paying Respect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 135-150, Fall.
    10. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2006. "Methods of Social Comparison in Games of Status," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001183, UCLA Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Status; Incentives; Education; Grading; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1467. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matthew Regan). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cowleus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.